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Full text of "73 Magazine (August 1991)"

AUGUST 1 99 1 

ISSUE U371 

USAS2M 

CAN $3.95 



A WCE Publication 
International Edition 



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Letters 



Numtier 1 on your Feedback e&rd 



George Fennelt K3E0E, Bytfer PA A 
coupie of QlhoT hsms and I have sianed 
ATVing in Bytter County and are having a 
ball P5 audio and video is a LI amund . This 
Is the most tun iVe had \n ages. I just 
finished setting in a 1 0^foot parabolic to do 
EME and shuttle do wnllnk (to rebroadcast 
on ATV) and am building b couple of 
Iransveders. I also bough l a Kenwood 
53 1 A t. 2 GHz transceiver, and am build- 
ing a small 24" parabolic antenna for IhaL 
To think that t oouki be missing all tt^is fun 
while worrying about upgrading and build- 
ing code speed Maytie someday, b\A deH^ 
fiilety not now. We're cooking with mh 
mwmvm and havir>g a blast. (Must avoid 
ionization erf onestif— did you know tiiat a 
ciack if> the waveguide of a i3cm^ 1 kW 
amp 2 114' X 1/64" wilt produce energy 
250,000 times Ih© safe [?1 exposure limit? 
WOW— that's what those cramps are!| 

You should be starting some stuff for Ra- 
dio Fun to hefp get newcomers interBsted 
in A TV, 1200 MHz, and so on. Let's get on 
the bail and get more hams interested tn 
doing fun things— and perhaps get them 
off ttte^ garbage truck. . .. Wayns 

IgnatJus N. Bova WA3GWD. Pittsburgh 
PA Mr Jasofi Kelly's letter [June '9i is^ 
sue/ really irritated me. First, i would like to 
mform him that ykum code was inctuded 
in the amateur tests fdr good reason. Our 
operators could get through umJer severe 
OBM u^ng Morse code. Under em«gefv 
cy conditiofts, where ham operators are 
counted on to provide criticaf communica- 
tions, this IS a very valuable asset. 

As for the existing amateurs being "a 
bunch of old men/' i can only wonder how 
f^e would know. Do ham operators in Iowa 
give their age as well as their call? 

Most ham operalors are concerned, 
and rightly so, thai some ol the valuable 
ham bands could turn into another CB fi- 
asco , Bac k m the 60s, like ma n y h am oper- 
ators. I read about all the woi^derful things 
CB was going to do for ham radio. CB 
wouid "oper* the door" *0f many potentiai 
ham operators^ and this would be the 
sparic that would ignite new interest in Itiis 
vafuatste resource. Baloney! 

Mr. Kelty, I s^tggest that you listen in on 
the CB bands. It would be bearr^Dreaking 
to have this happen on 2 and 6 meters. 

The FCC does not have the resources to 
control the CB wasteland, and they cer> 
tainly can't eitpecl more lunds with the 
fed era! b udget bu rst I ng at t he seams . If we 
get our bands run over by rude and care- 
less operators ^ ills doubtful thai the FCC 
could do anything about It, and we would 
all be the losers because of it. 

Flfst. re the code for getting through when 
cor\ditions are tough rve twardthis claim 
for 50 years, and as far as t know, there i$ 
no authenticated case m the last 30 years 
of any amateur having to resort to code to 
get through in an emergency. Yes, ot 
course it's possit3fe tt's just incredit^ 
mMcety Wfth most of today's transceivms 
not even having a key jack, we may never 
know. 

The otd men compfatnt Keify makes is 
echoed dozens of times a month in the 
maif I'm getting from new hams, ft isn't 



From the Hamshack 



i^ffimiti to discover age wfien yoa as*r a 
cfmp what he does and he says he's been 
retired for 10 years, I finaity ran into a non- 
retired ham last Saturday^first in 
months. 

At a recent hamfest f asked tor a show of 
hands of how many present with General 
or better licenses would b& able to pass a 
13 per Bxam right then. Ten hands went up 
out of the whofe room. A tew years ago I 
proposed as a joke that we alt he re^Kam- 
ined for code speed every year. The reac- 
tion was one of totat panic. 

You say "rightfuify so" about turning 
cor ham bmids into C6. This shows rm 
two things: 1 . You haven 't timened to 2Qm 
for the fast year or so. it's worse than any 
CB Ive ever hBBfd. 2. You haven't its- 
tBfWdtoCBmy^trs^ 

CB did indeed hetp us enormousfy. UnfU 
C6 came a(or\g, we had a negative growth 
for several years. Almost tOQ% of our ac* 
tuai growth in the last 20 years has come 
from people who got started in CB and 
moved up to hamming. 

rmjast back from LAJ*ve never heard 
anything as bad as thatr 2m repeaters on 
CB. anywhere. And t often take a CB rig 
with me for use in my rental cars when t 
travel. I find CBers usually mitch more 
helpful than hams if I need to firjd my way 
or make a phone cait. 

Of course, f haven 't been to Ptttsburgh 
in years, and you may ha^m a pocket of 
bad CBers. But remember^ only two peo- 
ple tn history fmve t)een arrested, tried, 
convicted, and put in prisott for bad lan- 
guage on CB. . and both were Extra 
Class hams. It's almost enough to make a 
person thinki But mayt^e not. . . . Wayne 

Alan S, Koester NOCALL yet, Coral 
Springs FL 1 finally did III Last night 1 
passed the basic theory tests and became 
licensed as a no^ode Tech. I am anxious- 
ly awaiting the arrival of my calisign. Like 
many others. 1 felt the code requirement 
was an obstacle I was not yet ready to 
overcorrre I think thai the no-code Tech 
license ts an excel lent way to get a tasie of 
amateur radio. From what I have seen and 
read so far. once the amateur radK) bug 
biiott the effects are permaner^, I loo. 
pian on upgrading to General In the near 
future. For now, however, my rjew rK>code 
Tecit license will enatile me to get started 
in this great hobby. 

My advice for anyone interested in be- 
coming a no-code Tech is to ignore the 
disgruntled old-timers. We are noi "glofi* 
fied GBers." Good luck to anyone who will 
be taking the test. Have confidence In 
yourself. You can do it. 1 did! 

OoffenBlasdell M7PCT» Grants Pass OR 
in February 1990 I wrote you a letter say- 
ing that I couldn't find out where to take the 
ham rad^o exams I beheve you primed it in 
the Juty 1990 issue. 

Here iS a progress report In February 
1990 I went to Radio Shack and aslted if 
they knew where the license exams were 
taking place. They did! I took the Novk:e. 
CW, and written exams that month and 
passed Then In May 1990 I passed the 
Technician exam. When December 1990 
rolled around, I passed the General and 



Advanced CW and written exan^ Finally 
in May 1991 I passed the Amateur Extra 
CW and written exams. I am now 18 years 
old. Ham radio is lots of fun. 

E)orian H7PCT—yes we dki print your lef- 
t&^in theJt^ f^Otssue. Thanks fora^ne 
pfogressrepoftl. . Mndaf<AiUKM 

Ervin L. Sty W6TKJ. Nipomo CA 1 fuly 
agree with your statements of last month 
on the crowded 2 meter band. Just moved 
from the Los Angetes area and my trans- 
ceiver would scan all day long and not 
hear a signal. Once in a while Yd hear 
someone on the way to work or from work, 
but the restof the day— nothing. Simplex? 
Forget it I Find it even worse here. Also on 
camping trips I can get into many re- 
peaters but there's never anyone listen- 
ing. Where do they come up with crowded 
cx>nditions on 2 meters? 
Sure enjoy your ranting and raving. 

Gttrardo O, Loptz Heza XEIUQL, Var* 
acruz, Mexfco Badio communications 
has been the most important artivity of my 
free time. Unfonunateiy. I tourxlout about 
ft wften I was too oM to direct my profes- 
sional advantages over the area. Anyway, 
I enfoy it deepty, and I understand that 
everyone o1 us must increase the interest 
ot the people about the many different 
things you can do in radio. 

Three years after I looked for someone 
to teach me Morse code, I got my license, 
then I discovered that almost no one uses 
it regularty: Ihe amateurs prefer voice tO 
to I, The pfoblem — I think — is ttiat some 
people use the inexper^sive f^am bands for 
business, so tt>e government tests the 
neophyte's interest by means of the code 
examination. 

There am many repeaters arnJ radio 
amateurs in Mexico and all Spanish Amer^ 
ica, and they are a^ays happy to answer 
every 090 received. In Veracruz we love 
to talk with other persons from far coufv 
tfies. 

I want to express to you my desire for 
people to use more the 1 meter band and 
to learn to make QSOs in Spanish. You 
are losing half of America without this lan- 
guage. 

Jeffrey Miller KB2FBI. Auslln TX Good 
issue, the June 73. You waxed quite elo- 
quent this month, tt will lake several vtsils 
to the euphamism (sic)\Q read i1 all 
Nonetheless, right on the mark about 
standing arourxj watching tlie foreigners 
invent everything r^ew and useful, whUe 
the useless simply complain about the 
new Techiea. How about a new tjumpef 
sUckef? You coukJ maJte hundreds^ Tit 
give up CW when they pry my cold, dead 
hands from my brass key!'' 

Jim Farago, Minneapolis MM Per the 
June issue, page 76 on "rigs for kids' ^: In 
your editorial you talk about how various 
parts from TV sets could be used to make 
no-cosi QRP rigs and such. I have 40 new 
B/W picture tubes. 9" through 24", 15 
good used ones 4" through Z^ % plus a few 
hundred TV tubes, replacement TV anten- 
nas, line cords, deflection yokes, etc., all 
of which I would give away to any interest* 
ed individual, dub, or organization. Sche- 
matics, too. 

I am not looking for a tax writeHOfl or a 
trash car^^t iust hope I can give these 
ilente to someone interested Haff of these 
sets are tube-type ar»d half am transistor* 
ized. Brands from A to Z, The TV shops 1 
used to work in are al! closed now, so they 
are no help. 



I do noi want to put these items out with 
the trash to er>d up poHuttng a landfili 

It was good to speak to you al last 
Wovember's Hamfest al Hen nip<n Techno 
cai Censsf, «ven itroogh you were much 
too bosy for any lengthy conversation. 

Anyone interested in these pads can con- 
tad Jim Farago at 40 1 7 42 Ave. So., Min- 
neapolis MN 55406. PLEASE endose an 
SA$E....UndaKA1UKM 

Tom Rehnert NSPLX, Socorro NM Sev- 
eral years ago I got some mail from you 
hawking your magazine. I was already fa- 
miliar with it and planning on someday get- 
ting a subscription. What struck me at>out 
the mail was that it contained a letter from 
you that was something like 13 pages 
long. 1 thought to myself thai this guy must 
have some great targe ego to think I*d read 
ail this, tt convinced me to get a subscrip- 
twn. I did read il all. I've been getting a big 
kk:^ out of your adttMltiS ever since. The 
magazine is the most fun to reed and I 
always k»ok fo^^vard to iL 

Charles Holm K87HUW. Spokane WA I 
am a Novice operator and en|oy your mag- 
azine very much. Your new magazine, Ra- 
dio Fun, looks interesting, and I will be 
subscribing. Its Introduction at this time, 
now that newcomers can get a license 
without knowing the code^ will certainly 
help the new operators along, as well as 
inspire technically inclined pet^le to get a 
ficense and join us on the air. You were 
pfOTTwting a nonXKle license years ago, 
and predicted its adoption. Again, you 
were right! 

Mike Simmons W69CWE. BeMdere IL 

Several months ago, you wrtMe in a 73 
edrtohal at>out the hazards of kxw frequerv* 
cy electromagnetic fields as reported in a 
very reputable magazine. A tew months 
ago, the XYL of an old acquaintance, Ed 
Peic (formerly K9RAX), called us. Grief- 
stricken, she told us that her husband had 
been undergoing grueling treatments for 
leukemia, and she greatly feared for his 
life. The news had a particularly shocking 
effect, as Mr. PeIc was a TV repairman; he 
had spent most of his life sun^ounded by 
low level EM radiation in his shop. 

As a formef quality control engineer, I 
knsm thai one case is poor proof for any* 
thing, but it does make one sit up and take 
serious notice. 

James Mot N6Z0B, Hewpod Seadi CA 
The April 73 described a DXpeditkjn 10 
MaJpelo IslafKl (page $1). These remark- 
able people operated live radios for about 
five days and logged 40.000 QSOs. 

If they managed to keep all five going for 
24 hours/day, this wt>rks out to atxjut 66 
QSOs/hour per radio. This ought to be 
considered some sort of a record. II must 
have been especially tough on a 20 wpm 
CW operator. 

This leaves me wondering— is a K)-sec- 
ond QSO what ham radio is all about? 

H,S. Van Wnckel ymPfiE, Ontarfo As a 

Canadian ham. { have tveen a k>ng*time 
fan ol yours, having followed your career 
and agreeing with you on the past, 
present, ar>d future of amateur radio. Here 
in Canada, Tm orte small voice in Ihe mess 
that we call ham radio, however I voice my 
opinions as often as I can. Please keep 
trying, the Amateur Radio Fraternity 
needs people like you to remind us of tf>e 
problems we face. 



2 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



THE TEAM 

PUBLtSHEH/EDlTOfi 
Wayne Green W2MS0^1 

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER 
OawKJCassKJyNlGPH 



MANAGING EDITOR 
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS 
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Or Mart Leavey WA3AJR 
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ioeMoeilKtOV 
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ADVERTfSING SALES 
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ACCOUNT SERVICES 
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Beprf nts: The Arst copy of an artide 
$3,00 (each addional copy— $^ SO). 
Wnte ID 73 Amateur Radio Magazine, 
WGE Cenler. Forest Road, Hancock, 
NH 03449. 



7S Amateur 



AUGUST 1991 
Issue #371 



Radio Today 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 



FEATURES 



8 Poor Man's Packet 
A compiete software TNC for PC com- 
patibtesf , , WB2EMS. N8KEI 

24 Low Cost Di scone 

Wideband oovera^ frofn 144 to 1296 
MHz. A05X 

28 High Speed Data Acquisition 

Sample l*ie outside worid with this inex* 
pensive interface. . , N8KDD 

32 Software for the Ham Shack, 
Part IV 

Useful Ham calculatlorrs you can pro- 
gram yourself! , , . WA4BLC 

38 Utiiversal CAT Interface 

Control your rig with yoyr computer! 
K5YEF 



50 Hope for Monolingual Hams 

If you really want to communicate! 

*■■■■ ■ ■ ■^^pBii*B"4-<"B>-" ■> W r\ I L.tJI 



REVIEWS 



20 Pkt-GOLD Multimode 

Yoijr software window into the wwld off 
Gommynicationsf WA1 R 



34 The TAPH METCON-1 Kit 

Add telemetry and controf to your packet 
station WB8ELK 

46 The Kantronlcs KTU Telemetry 
Unit with Weathernode EPROM 

Remote weather observations via pack- 
etl WA3USG 



Poor Man's Packet softwaxe TNC for PC 
compatibly. Oovm photo by Larry Dunn, 




DEPARTMENTS 



62 Above and Beyond 
72 Ad Index 

79 AskKaboom 
82 ATV 

BO Barter 'n' Btiy 

49 Dealer Directory 

5&DX 

17 Feedback Index 

54 Hams w^h Cl9ss 

56 Kamsats 

80 Hommg In 
2 Letters 

4 Never Say Die 
70 New Products 
84 Propagation 
52 QRP 

7aRX 
84 Random Output 
6d RTTY Loop 
76 73 International 
66 Special Events 
86 Uncle Wayne's 

Bogkshelf 
es Updates 



Packet withoLii a TNC ? WB2BMS shows yoa how 5^e p^ge &. 



FEEDBACK... 
FEEDBACK! 

Il's like being tliere— 
righ: here innur offjcesl 
How? Ju.^t \skii udviinluge 
of our FEEDBACK card 
on page 17. You'll iioMcc 
a feedback numbex ^% 
the beginning afcach 
article JUidcQl limit. We'd 
Itke you to rate whai you 
read so that i«« can prim 
what t>pcs erf thiJtp you 
like b^. And then wc 
viU draw one Fwdbatk 
card each mcHith for a 
free subscnpiion to 73 * 





Editorial Offlcea 

WGE Cenier 

Hancock NH 03449 

phone: 603-525-4201 



Manu^rfptt Conlributions in the form of manuscripts with drawings arKJ/Or photographs are welcome 
and wiU be considered for possible publication We can assume no responsibtiity lor loss or damage to 
any material Pieaseencfose astarnped, self -ad dressed envelope with each submission, Paymem ior the 
use of any unsoNciied material will be made upon pubiication. A premium will be paid for accepted articles 
thai have been submitted electronically (CompuServe ppn 7031 077S or MCI Mail "WGE PUB" or GEnie 
address "MAG73") or on disk as an tBM -compatible ASCII file. You can aiso contact us a1 the 73 B8S at 
(BD3) 525-4438. 300 or 1200 baud. B data bits, no parity, one stop bit. All contribytions should be directed 
to the ?3 editorial offices. "How lo Write for 73" guideiines ar6 available upon request. US citizens must 
include their social security number with submitted manuscripts. 

73 AmBteur Radio Today (fSSN 1052-2622) is published monthly by WGE Publishing, Inc , WG€ 
Cenlef. Forest Road, Hancock, New Hampshire 03449. Enlrre contents ■< T951 by WGE Publishing, Inc. 
No pan of thes publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. For 
Subscription Services wnte T3 Amateur Raam Today, PO Box SBS66. Boulder, CO e0322'8&66, or call 
1-800-289-0366 In CO call 1-303-44 7-9330 The subscriptiOTi rate is: one year S24 97: two years S39.97. 
AddHaorvat postage for Canada js S? 00 arnj iot other foreign countries. $19 00 surface and S3 7 00 ainmail 
per year. 41! foreign oriiers must be accompanied by payrrvent is US fufKfs. Second ciass postage paid at 
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numbef 9566 Canadian GST Ragistratiofi ft 25393314. Microfilm Edition— University Microfilm, Anfi 
Artxjr, Mi 46106 Postmastef: send address cttanges to 73 Amaimjr Radto Today, PO Box 56866. 
Bouldef; CO 80322^6d6€. 

Audit Byreau of Circulations (ABC) memt>ers}iip applied for. 

Contraci: By reading this fine print you are heretiy leQalty obtigated to get on ttie Novice bands arxJ 
answer a newcomer's CQ. While youVe at it. you hereby have one week to say "HP' to a rvewcomer on 
your tocal repeater. Make sure you teEl iham 7:3 sent you. 



Advertfafng OHlce« 

WGECenrei' 

Hancock NH 03449 

ption« 800-225-5063 



Ctrculatfofi Offtc#» 

WGECemer 

Hancock NH 03449 

phone : 603-525-420! 



73 Amateur Radio Today * August. 1991 3 



|i|iinili«r2on your Feedback card 



Never sa y die 



Wayne Green W2NSD/1 




...deW2NSD/1 

Humph, sked time ami you're late. 
a$ usual. How'm 1 going to get you lo 
shape up and slop being a wishy- 
washy W3mp? And don't tiy and put on 
thai "sensiUve*' act with mB, 1 know 
youtoo welL 

What in heck has happened to you? 
When you were a kid you had a sense 
of adventure. You were wilting to be a 
piofieer. Some piofieer you are nowl 
You don 'I even see the new movies 
tiefofe Eb^ft tells you whether you're 
going to Hke 'em or not. Pioneer? 
Pteghf No, most of you've turned into 
milquetoasts. 

Here you are with the greatest op' 
port unity to pioneer in the history of the 
ho&by. So what are you doing, end- 
lessly gabtjjng on 2in through re- 
peaters or blathering ar^d kvetching 
about the mess KV4F2 and KIMAN 
have made on the low bands? 

Are you evert on packet yet? Of 
RTTY? The Japanese are busy discov- 
ering ways to squeeze high definition 
TV (HDTV) Into narrower bandwidths. 
They've {ust announced a new digital 
audio format, the mini-disc (MD), which 
crams 74 minutes of digital sound on a 
2,5* disc. 

Oid-lsmers will remember the '20s 
and '30s wtien Gennany had the edge 
on high technology. German cameras, 
radios and scientific instruments were 
the best. Then they got involved with 
Hitler and screwed up. Through the 
■40s to the '60s America was way out 
ahead In almost every technology. The 
wor^d bought Hallicraflers radios. Ko- 
dak cameras and General Radio ir>- 
stnjments. 

Then Japan discovered Ed Dem* 
mfng and the odd concept that quality 
realty does coiini. Now we're aJI buymg 
Japanese cameras, radios and scien- 
tific instruments- We're a (so, in case 
you haven't noticed, seeing Japanese 
pioneers skiing down Mt. Everest, 
crossing the Antarctic on skis, and in- 
venting cirdes around us m one scmx- 
tific f»eld after another. 

So here you are in amateur fadio» 
ffrrnty stuck in the past, all emotionally 
worked up over GW, a sad remnant Of 
the "305. ill bet 50% of you aren^t 
aware that CW is every bit as important 
to us today as preserving other antique 
modes such as AM and spark. Yes. I 
know, most of the "Spark Forever" 



crew have their Silent Key awards now 
and are grumpily motdertng. Wefl. they 
gave up with the same grace with 
which our CW4orever brethren are 
fo-lding their hands. . buoyed on by 
the enthusiastic support of the Antique 
Radio Relay League. Radio retay? 
Har-de-har. Talk about amonumentlo 
the past! And lef s not even talk about 
the hoary old goats you've repeatedly 
elected to help keep amateur radio an 
archeologicai resource. 

But ts amateur radio s^jppc^ed lo be 
using the incredibly valuable public air* 
waves as a monument to the past? 
Aren't we supposed to t>e expert meiit* 
(ng? To be inventing? To be pioneer- 
ing? Isn't there something in our char- 
ter about that? You bet your sweet 
bippy there is! 

So while hordes o1 you are trying lo 
resuscitate dying technologies such as 
AM and CW from the dim past, who 
have we QOt out there taking advan- 
tage of the technologcai eicptosion? 
Certainly not many here in America. 

When I speak at hamfests I get blank 
stares when I bring up new technolo- 
gies which have l>een written about re- 
cently in N&wBweek and Time. A re- 
cent Forbes article put our situation 
into perspective. Today's technology Is 
heading toward the microwaves, 
where there are more frequencies . 
tf>e frequencies it's going to take to 
deal with HDTV» personal asmmunica- 
tors which handle fax. messaging, and 
even graphics, computer networking, 
etc, 

So here we are with 500 MHz up 
there at 10,000-10,500 MHz. with 
maybe 10 hams in the country using 
the band. Maybe less. Even if we use 
today's technology we can get our 
voice channels dowfi to 5 kHz, which 
would give us 100,000 channels. Hey, 
we could all have our own repeater 
channels and never have to bother 
talking with anyone else again! 

But, as these channels turn from 
solid gold to platinum, and the com- 
mercial demand escalates, unless 
we're up there doing something of v^- 
ue with 'em, theyVe going to go. I real- 
ize that this is a matter of little moment 
to most hams. I }ust don'l understand 
how we ever got amateur radio off 600 
meters and up to 160 meters a few 
generations ago. 

That was back when Americans 
were pioneers. Back whar> we were ea- 



gerly exploring new technologies. 
Back when Americans were explonng 
the world. Back when we had some 
guts. 04d-trmer3 will remember Lowelt 
Thomas, Frank Buck, 0$a and Martin 
Johnson, Amelia Earhart, Frank 
Hawkes, Admiral Byrd. 

Old-time hams will remember 
CopthOf ne McDonaid (SSTV), W2GDQ 
(NBFM), W2BFD (RTTY). W1FZJ 
(moonbounce and parametric amplifi- 
ers). These chaps didn't invent and pi- 
oneer to be good guys and save our 
hobby; they did it because they were 
having fun. I knew 'em all well. So 
what's happened to our country that 
we've stopped having fun with technol- 
ogy? These days 99. 9 R^ of us are appli* 
ance jockeys. 

No. it isn't age, Sam Harris 
W1FZJ/KP4 was busy pioneering until 
the day he died. So was John Williams 
W2BFD I think t could make a good 
case for old Doc Spock t^emg at the 
bottom ot this softening ot Arr>erica. 

Yes. of course I have a solution. But 
It Isn't one you're going to like. The 
solution lies in our yeungsiers. Per^ 
haps we can sneak into our schools 
and start countering the general con- 
cept that technology is bad. Maybe we 
can gel the ktds interested m the fun we 
have to offer. . .not in rag-chewing 
endlessly, but in expenmeming . . . in 
piorieering new communications. 

Tire food is there on the table, with 
fascmating stuff from AEA and othef 
ham maufacturers. The question is, 
how can we gel today's hams, starved 
as they are lor excitement and making 
up for it by making a shambies of our 
t>ands, 10 reach out and even taste tiie 
banquet? Please advise. It's out there, 
waiting. It isnH expertstve. but it does 
mean havirvg to learn . andtodlare 

220 Live St 

A reader; who's in the communica- 
tions business, advises that while we 
American hams may not be doing 
much with 220, there is a brisk busi- 
ness going on just to our south. The 
drug business in Cotombia is apparent- 
ly delighted with the 220 band and 
busy buying portable repeaters. HTs 
Mith scramblers in hundred lots. mo> 
bile transceivers, $15^000 monitors, 
amplifiers, antennas, night vision 
equipment, and so on. Hey, they've got 
to get that cocaine up here for our 
crack houses, right? 



A good Mend who ran a ham store in 
Boston said he often had Hispanic men 
come into his store with huge roHs of 
money wanting to buy 144 and 220 
MHz repeaters and HTs lor cash. May^ 
be the ham equipment business isn't 
as badly off as 1 thought. 

Drug dealers make so much money 
on each delivery that they can afford to 
buy a repeater and HTs and throw 
them away after one use. I wonder 
where the Colombian surplus stores 
are. There may be some great buys. 

U.S. vs, Japan 

fn case there's a question in your 
mind about what our new no-code li- 
cense can do for us, let's just look and 
see what's happened in Japan, where 
they've had such a license for years. 
The May issue of CO Ham Radio, 
QSTs Japanese equivalent, was the 
usual 586'page phone-book-sized 
magazine. 

Yes. I've been endlessly hearfng 
that unless we keep out the nffraff, 
we II end up with one huge CB mess 
here in America. Well, for more than 20 
years we've kept our barriers up to dis* 
courage the unwashed hordes, yet 
when I hsten to 20m I hear worse 
garbage these days than IVe heard on 
CB in years. 

So how have the Japanese fared 
with their no-code licensing? I think we 
can get a good indication just by look- 
Ing at their ham magazines which 
are ati monsters compared to the ane- 
mic ham magazines we have ieft here. 

Looking over the May COHR, the 
first 270 pages are solid advertising, 
mostly in tour colors. The last 64 pages 
of the book are also advertising . 
plus many ads m t)etween. They not 
only have att the ham gear we have 
available here, they also have a whole 
bunch of wonderful products that 
aren't being exported to the U.S. be- 
cause our market is too small lo bother* 

After the front of the magazine ad- 
vertising sectton they have 24 pages ol 
tundamentat antenna intormation — 
how they work— how to use a dip meter 
lo tune your antenna — measuring an- 
tenna impedance— how lo build a sim- 
pie Z-meter— building simple low- and 
high -pass filters— building a 40 meter 
curtain— and a dozen or so more sim- 
ple antennas. Then comes IC funda- 
mentals and 14 pages of easy \C build- 
ing projects. 

There's a simple three transistor 
tOm FM rig constryclkKi articte. a 440 
MHz 25 watl amplifier and a good arti- 
cle on using DAT recorders with ama* 
leur radio. There are reviews of a com- 
puter togging prog ram » a JRC OJ-30 
MHz receiver, an Azden 10m FM trans* 
ceiver. a couple of new HTs, and the 
Yaesu FT-1011 transceiver. 

Next comes l>asic transistor theory, 
more antenna articles, more simple 
construction projects, a cotortul new 
products section. OXpeditton pictures 
(In cofor). hamshack photos, satellite 
news, DX awards and certificates. The 
hamfesl and club activity photo section 
has 163 full-color group photos. There 
are activity report sections for every 

Continued on page 73 



4 73 Amateur R^dio Today • August. 1991 







TM-241A 

TM-441A/TM-541A 

Compact FM Mobile 
transceivers 




I 



Here are your new mobtle cam- 
pa nions - at your service whenever 
you're on the road! Their compact 
size makes installation a snap, and 
the remote control options allow you 
to customize your installation for 
that "professional" look! 

• Wide band receiver coverage. The 
TM-241A receives from 118-173.995 
MHz. Transmit range is 144*148 MHz. 
(Modifiable for MARS and CAP 
operation, permits required.) 

• TM-441A covers 438-449.995 MHz, 
and the TM'531A covers 
1240-1299.995 MHz. 

• CTCSS encode built-in, selectable 
from the front panel* 

• Selectable frequency steps for 
q(jlcl< and easy QSY. 

• TM-241A provides 50 W TM-441A 
35 W, and TM-541A 10 W. Three 
power positions, 5, 10, and full. The 
TM'541A has two power positions, 

1 and 10 watts. 

• 20 fuH-function memory channels 
store frequency, repeater offset 
sub-tone frequencies, and repeater 
reverse information. Repeater 
offset on 2m is automatically 
selected. There are four channels 
for "odd split" operation. 

• Tone Alert System with Elapsed 
Time indicator. 

• Auto-power off function, and time- 
out timer. 

Spscffin^tions guamnteed for Amateur band o$e onty 




iocx 



B.5 




'ite&i 



■■■■■■il 



SOL 



CJU4. 



^'^jBinHmn 





RC-20 Remote Control Unit 

As supplied, one RC-20 will control 
one transceiver Most often-used 
front panel functions are control- 
lable from the RC-20 The RC-20 
and IF-20 combine to allow control 
of up to four radios. 



Seiective calling and pager option. 
The DTU-2 option enables the Dual 
Tone Squelch System (DTSS). allow- 
ing selective calling and paging using 
standard DTMF tones. 
Digital recording system option. 
Used in conjunction with the tone 
alert system, the DRU-1 allows mes- 
sage storage of up to 32 seconds. 
Multiple scanning functions. Band 
and memory scan, with selectable 
scan stops and memory channel 
lock-out. 

Large LCD display with four-step 
dimmer control. 

Automatic Lock Tuning (ALT) for 
the TM-541A. Compensates for drift. 



• Supplied accessories. Mounting 
bracket, DC cable, fu^l!16lC'44DM 
multi-function DTMF mia 

Optional accessories 

• DRU-1 Digital Recording Unit 

• DTU'2 DTSS unit • IF-20 Interface 
unit, used with the RC-20, allows more 
than two transceivers to be remotely 
controlled • MA-700 2m/70cm dual 
band antenna with duplexer (mount 
not supplied) • MB-201 Extra mount- 
ing bracket • MC-44 Multifunction 
hand microphone • MC-55 (8*pin) 
Mobile mic. with time-out timer 

• MC-60A, MC-80, MC-85 Base 
station mics. • PG-2N Extra DC cable 

• PG-3B DC line noise filter • PG-4G 
Extra control cable • PG-4H Interface 
connecting cable • P6-4J Extension 
cable kit • PS-50/PS-430 DC power 
supplies • RC-10 Handset remote con- 
troller* RC-20 Remote control head 

• SP-41 Compact mobile speaker 

• SP-50B Mobile speaker • TSU-6 
Programmable CTCSS decoder 

KENWOOD USA. CORPORATION 

COMMUNiC AHONS L TEST EQUIPMENT GROUP 

RO BOX 22745. 2201 E Dominguea Street 
Long Beach. CA 90801-5745 

KENWOOD ELECTRONICS CANADA INC. 
RO, BOX 1075. 959 Gana Court 
Mississauga. Ontario, Canada L4T 4C2 

KENWOOD 

, . . paceseuer in Amateur Radio 



KENWOOD. 



Com 

TH-27A/47A 

2 m and 70 cm Super 
Compact HTs 

Here is a great new addition to 
Kenwood's HT family -- the all new 
TH-27A tor 2 metem andTH-47A tor 
70 cm I Super compact and beau*^ 
tifully designed, these pocket- 
sized twins give you full-size 
performance* 

• Large capacity NiCd tiattery 
p?ck supplied. The standard 
battery pack is 72 volts, 700 mAh, 
providing extended transmit time 
with 2.5 watts. (TH-47A: 1.5 W) 

• Extended receive coverage. 
TH-27A: 118-165 MHz:TH-47A: 
438-449,995 MHz. TX on Amateur 
bands only, (TH-27A modifiable for 
MARS/CAP Permits required. Spec- 
ifications guaranteed for Amateur 
bands only.) 

• Mult J -function scanning. 
Band and memory channels can 
be scanned, with time operated 
Of carrier operated scan stop. 

• Frequency step selectable for 
quick OS Y. Choose from 5, 10. 12.5, 
15, 20, or 25 kHz steps. 

• Built-in digital clock with 
programmable timer 

• Dual Tone Squelch System 
(DTSS), Compatible with the 
TH-26AT Series and the 
TM-941A Triple bander, as 
well as other Kenwood 
series transceivers, this 
selective calling system 
uses standard DTMF to open 
squelch. 

• Five watts output when operated 
with PB*14 battery pack or 13.8 volts. 

• T-Alert for quiet monitoring. 
Tone Alert beeps when squelch 
is opened. 

• Auto battery saver, auto power 
off function, and economy power 
mode extends battery life. 

• DTMF memory- The DTMF 
memory function can be used as 
an auto-dialen Ail characters from 
the 16-key pad can be stored, 
allowing repeater control codes 
to be stored! 



ct Champion! 



41 memories. All channels 

store receive and transmit 
separately for "odd split* 

# DC direct in operation. 

Allows external DC to be 
used (7.2 - 16 volts). 
When external power is 
used, the batteries are 
being charged. 
(PB-13 only) 



Optional accessories: 

• BC-14: Wall Charger for PB-13 • 0C-1S: 
Rapid charger for P8-13, 14 • BC-16: Wall 
charger for PB-14 • BH-6: Swivel mount 

• BT-8: Six call AA Alkaline battery case 

• HMC-2: Headset with VOX and PTT 

• PB-13: 72 V, 700 mAh NiCd pack • PB-14; 
12 V, 300 mAh NiCd pack ♦ PQ-3F: DC 
cable with filter and cigarette lighter plug 

• PG'2W: DC cable • SC-31: Soft case 
•SiyiC-31: Standard speaker 
mic*SMC-32: Compact 
speaker mk; • SMC-33i 

Compact speaker mic^ 
with controls 
• WR-2:Waterj 
resistant 
bag. 



/ ' 



nN< 



»*j! 



fJi 



oPt 



• Automatic offset selection 
(TH-27A). 

• Direct keyboard frequency entry. 
The rotary dial can also be used 

to select memory, frequency, 
frequency step, CTCSS, and 

scan direction, 

• CTCSS encode/decode bulft-in. 

• Supplied accessories; 
Rubber flex antenna, battery pack, 
wall charger, belt hook, wrist strap, 
dust caps. 



KENWOOD U.&A CORPORATION 

COMMUNlCATiONS &TEST EQUIPMENT GROUP 

P.O. BOX 22745. 2201 E. Dominguez Street 
Long Beach. CA 90801-5745 

KENWOOD ELECTRONICS CANADA INC. 
P.Q BOX 1075. 959 Gana CouJt 
Mrssissauga Ontsno. Canada L4T4C2 



KENWOOD 



H 



Specj/Scarfons 5fKf t&shires are SL0ie0 lo &&ig& irttfiot/r noiice or oDfjpaiton 

Qsmpteie sefvifce marai^ m^ avai^d/e tof a// KemvdcK* iranscenrtf s am? m<wi accessories 



pacesetter in Amateur Radio 



QRX. . . 



Number 3 on your Feedback card 



EDITED BY LINDA RENEAU KA WKM 



Ham Physicians Speak Up 



1 1 



Only a person familiar with both 
medicine and amateur radio can make this 
determination correctly," writes Christine 
Haycock. M.D.. WB2YBA, in a letter to fellow 
physicians published In New Jersey 
Medicine. She (s referring, ol course, to the 
telegraphy waiver for handicapped hams. In 
December 1900 the FCC pass^ Docket 90- 
356, exempting handicapped persons from 
code tests if their physical condition prevents 
them from leaming the code at 1 3 or 20 wpm. 
Dr. Haycock notes; "Totally handicapped 
quadriplegics have mastered these require- 
ments, as well as blind or deaf individuals, and 
the psychological benefits of this achievement 
are immeasurable. There are, however, some 
rare instances where an individuat cannot 
meet this goal, hence the FCC edict/' 

Morris Soled. M.O,, W^NXS advises nan* 
ham colleagues that "Ham radio is a popular 
hobby among physicians, and you should be 
able to find a member of your staff to answer 
further questions before being a 'nice guy* 
and signing a note you do not understand." 

Dr. Edward N. Ludin^ M.O., K2UK. pres4< 
dent of the Medical Amateur Radio Council* 
Ltd,. MARCO, was also published. He notes 
that the precise meaning of "severely handi- 
capped indivrduar' is unclear in relation to the 
Act [the 1988 Devetopmentat DisabWiies Act, 
29 use 706(1 5)(A)(tlt)}, and thai the average 



physician ". . .could not be expected to know 
what effect these disabilities may have on [a 
person's ability in) teaming Morse code." Like 
Doctors Haycock and Soled, he urges physi- 
cians to not sign a certificate of exemption 
lightly. He says, *'. . .please request, from a 
local amateur operator, preferably another 
physician, appropriate advice. I hope that oth- 
er physician hams will let their fellow physf- 
cians at the local level know of their availability 
in this regard.'^ TNX W5Yi Report. VoL 13, 
issue 12. 



A Brave Young Ham 

One of the highlights of KSIR's trek to the 
Dayton Hamventlon was meeting Seth 
XU1SS from Kampuchea. "What a fascf- 
natlng story of bravery and hardship/* K6IR 
writes us. "Seth*s amateur radio operations 
from the jungles Of Kampuchea using the call 
XU1SS while under enemy gunfire. . his 
heroic escape from Kampuchea. . and his 
ultimate reunion, after over a decade of sepa- 
ration, with his family in Washington State 
after the death of his brother. . all add up to 
a tale worthy of a suspenseful movie. The 
enclosed photo of this brave young man (see 
Photo A} who has endured so much belies 
the tragedies he has endured in his young life. 
Seth is truly a remarkable young man and an 
outstanding tribute to our worldwide hobby of 
amateur radio." TNX Kenneth M. Miller K6IR. 




Mir Wants Mewsi 

U5MIR requests packet stations leaving 
messages on U5MIR-1 to include news — 
most messages are boring! KP48JD had the 
"... unique opportunity, the rare pleasure, to 
QSO in FM vofce with cosmonaut Sergey 
Krikalev USMIR for about two minutes..," 
last June. He lists four messages from 
Sergey: 1. He sends to all: Greetings from 
space! 2. He congratulates the ship crew and 
NASA for the successful launch of mission 
STS-40 and the shuttle Coiumbia, and looks 
forward to making a QSO tn FM voice when 
their footprints overlap. 3. He respectfully re- 
quests all the earth packet stations leaving 
messages on USMIR to please kindly include 
news; they need entertainment, and the usual 
content of the messages they now receive is 
boring. 4, Sergey will be avaifable on his "free 
time*' for more FM voice QSOs on 145.55 
MHz. Dosvsdaniya to all from space. De 
KP4BJD @ KP4GE.PR.USA.CABB. 



No American Woodpecker 

The U.S. Air Force has scrapped its plans 
for an over-the-horizon backscatter (OTH* 
B) radar system* according to Jane's De- 
fense Weekiy. The program has been called 

the ''American Woodpecker'* because its So- 
viet counterpart is known as the "Russian 
Woodpecker/' The interference this system 
causes in shortwave communications resem- 
bles the pecking of a woodpecker. 

The American OTH-B would have had a 
range 10 times greater than that of conven- 
tional radar, and served as an early warning 
system. General Electric was to build four sys- 
tems spanning the Northeast. West Coast, 
Alaska, and north-centrat states. The decision 
to scrap this project will help alleviate the fear 
of increased QRM to HF communications on 
the ham bands. TNX Westitnk Report, No. 
602. (The major details of the OTH^B project 
was reported in '*QRX" in the August 1990 
issue,) 



No-Code ROs 



Photo A. Seth XUISS (left) from Kampuchea and Ken Miihr K6tR (right) meet at the Dayton 
Hamvention. 



Where ft can legally do so, the FCC is 
relaxing its rules which require radio offi- 
cers with Morse code proficiency on tx)ard 
Qcean*going vessels. Recently, the Com- 
mission amended its rules to permit small pas- 
senger ships weighing under 100 gross ions 
to operate under the general exemption from 
the manual Morse code radiotelegraph sta- 
tfon requirements beyond the current 100 
nautical mile limit. TNX W5Yf Report, VoL 13, 
issue 12. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 7 



Numbef 4 on your Feedback card 



Poor Man's Packet 



A complete software TNC for PC compatiblesi 

F. Kevin Feeney WB2EMS and Andy Payne N8KEI 



f 



Poor Man's Packet (PMP) was conceived 
in the fall of 1988. Andy Payne N8KE1, an 
electrical engineering student at Cornell Umver- 
sity , wanted to get into packet but a TNC wasn't 
within his studcnt^s budget He was sure he 
could write a software TNC for IBM PCs and 
compaiibles. Td been involved in packet for 
sevemi years, but I wanted a more compact 
meaasof operaung portable with my new laptop 
computer— like a software TNC running on the 
laptop with a n^mall modem interface. Andy and 1 
ran into each other on the local repeater, met to 
exhange ideas, and PMP was bom* 

A regular TNC consists of a dedicated micTD- 
compitter, some software in ROM, a simple Bell 
202 modem, perhaps an HDLC chip or a Data 
Carrier Detect (DCD) circuit, and some * 'glue' * 
chips to tie everything together. Most people 
then hook up thij* iipecializcd little microcomput- 
er device to a pergonal computer of considerably 
more power and capacity. The processing pow- 
er of the PC is mostly wasted, used only to loop 
on a simple terminal program^ shuffling 
keystrokes to the TNC and bytes from the TNC 
to the screen. 

What is PMP? 

PMP approaches the task from a different di- 
reaton, using the PC to do the work of the 

dedicated microcontroller. The software is on 
disk instead of in ROM. Hardware HDLC and 
ECD circuits are nice, but not necessary for 
simple TNC implementation. The mtxiem is a 
simple, onc-ehip, external design that the soft- 
ware accesses via the handshake lines on the 
printer port. The terminal inlerface functions 
are built right into the program, with direa ac* 
ttss to the screen and kevhoard, lastcad of sior* 
ing operating parameters such as callsign, trans- 
mit delays, or number of rctrys in a non-volatile 
memory like a regular TNC PMP reads them in 
on startup from a configuration file. 

Using this design, you can build a simple, 
inexpensive packet communicatioos system. PMP 
won't support multiple connects or act as a black 
box TNC for use as part of a BBS, but it's good 
for the usual connections to the local BBS to read 
and post mail, for getting your feet wet in pack- 
et, and for portable or emergency operation. 
lEd. Note: Jlic PMP program is available from 
the author as welt as the 73 BBS at (603) 525- 
44384 

Hon It Works 

To transmit a packet, the software builds the 

Q 73 Amateur Radio Today * August, 1991 




Photo A Ponabk packet wiihom a 77VC/ 




Photo B. Vie interface insialls easily between 
your computer and radio. 

packet up from the entered data. It then com- 
fnands data bit Dl (pin 3) on the printer port 
HIGH, turning Q2 on and keying the radio. 
Then the software begins toggling the DB bit 
(pin 2) back and forth, sending the packet 
''flags' * to open up the distant receiver and syn- 
chronize the demodulator. After the flags are 
sent, the software sends the actual data in the 
packet, then more flags ai the end. Finally, the 
software turns off D 1 and the radio unkeys. 

Receiving packets is a Uttle more complicate 
ed. While the radio is squelched, the Carrier 
Detect output (CDT— pin 3 of die 3103) is held 
LOW. The software * 'watches" this by looking 
at the printer port BUSY line (pin 11) indicating 
thai packets are presently incoming, which frees 
the software to handle the keyKiard processing, 
disk operations, and screen updates. 

When the radio unsqueleh^ and sufficient au- 
dio starts coming into the chip, the CDT line 
goes HIGH* signalling the software to *'drop 
everything'* by disabling interrupts. It starts 
timing the 1 and transitions coming from the 
modem on the Receive Data line (RXD— pin 8 of 
the 3105). 

It does this until the radio squelches and the 
CDT line goes high again, at which point the 
software translates the data it has just received 
from NRZI bit flips into ASCII and displays it on 



the screen. The program then goes on to handle 
the other tasks that were shut off during the 
incoming packet. 

The Modem 

While Andy was cooking up the software, 1 
stancd building modems. I evaluated several of 
the chips available. The EXAR 22M/2206 are 
used in several commercial TNCs. but they can 
be ftnicky to tune and keep tuned, and I was 
concerned about temperature swings while 
portable. 

The AMD 7910 World Chip offers several 
modem frequencies, including some suitable for 
HF packet, but it's physically large and requir<^ 
three operating voltages. 

Texas Instruments' TCM3105 won out. It has 
a Bell 202 half duplex modem that requires a 
minimum of external parts, crystal controlled 
stability, and low current drain, all in a 16-pin 
DIP. "Hie final circuit Is shown in Figure 1 , 

Starting in the upper leti. Ul, a 781j05 minia- 
ture voltage regulator drops the incoming 
voltage to 5 volts for the modem chip, CI keeps 
the regulator stable when the power source is 
more than a few inches away. 

Pin 2 is the clock drive output. To generate 
Bell 202 tones, the TCM3t05 requires that an 
inverted clock be fed into Pin 5, The clock drive 
from pin 2 is fed into die base of Ql through R4 
to limit the base drive, and the inverted output is 
taken off the junction of the collector and R3, 
and fed back into Pin 5. 

Pin 3 is the Carrier Detect output from the 
modem. The TCM3 105 senses the audio energy 
coming into it and raises die line HIGH when the 
audio is sufnciendy strong, Andy's software 
reads this line via the BUSY line of die printer 
port (pin 1 1 ), and starts try ing to decode incom- 
ing packets whenever it is HIGH. The chip does 
not do any filtering or check to see if die incom- 
ing signal has the proper tones; il simply reacts 
to audio level. This means random noise or an 
unsquelched receiver can trip the line and sian 
the sofware trying to decode. Unlike more com- 
plicated circuits with a DCD detector, PMP de- 
pends entirely on the radioes squelch to tell when 
an incoming packet is arriving. 

Pin 4 is the receive audio input. C3 provides 
AC coupling so the internal bias network in the 
chip isn't dragged down, [niiially 1 had very 
poor receive results until 1 flgured out I had 
forgotten this capacitor. 

Dl and D2 provide clipping of the signal to 
protect the modem's input circuit if the audio is 



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Figure I, Schematic diagram of the modem imefface. The bare hones laptop imerface is shown 
above the dotted line. Use the whole schematic for the home station imerface (includes a 
watchdog timer circuit). 



Ul 

m 
yi 



cranked up too high. Even with an 
HT it*s possible to develop eiKJugh 
vollagc to damage the chip. The 
dkxies limit the voltage to about 600- 
700 mV peak. Resistor R6 provides a 
toad for the receiver. Since T general- 
ly use my modem with an HT, I put 33 
ohms at R6 since that is a good match 
for the HT's output impedance and 
takes less power from the rig to drive. 
If you are operating with a base or 
mobile radio, you may want to 
change this to 8 ohms, and make it a I 
wati resistor, in case the audio gets 
cranked up by accident. This is easy 
to do when you aren't actually listen- 
ing to the signal 

Pin 7 is the Receive Bias threshold 
adjustment. The voltage here deter* 
mines how the incoming tones are di- 
vided into on^ and zero. It requires 
careful adjustment. A lO-mm pot is 
recommended for fine adjustments. 

Pin 8 is the Received Data output 
from the modem to the computer. It 
sends the ones and mros from the 
modem to the software via the printer 
ERROR mpui line (pin 15 of the 
primer port)- 

Pin 10 is the Carrier Detect 
threshold adjustmem. similar to pin 7 but not as 
critical in adjustment. 

Pin 1 1 is the transmit audio output from the 
modem. C2 provides AC coupling, R5 allows 

1(J 73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 



78i05 

T1TCM3T05JL 

74LS123 



tantalum capacitor 



Parts list 

5-vo)t regulator 

1200 bps half duplex moddtn chip 

one-shot mu Hi vibrator 

4.433619MHZC ry slal E u ropean colo rb u rst f re q uen cy 
Q1 ,Q2.03 2N3904 or 2N2222, 6tG> 

DT.D2 1N914onN414a switchJr^gdio<les 
D3.D4 LEDs red for 04, green f&ft^ 

D5 1 N40D1 diodo 

CI 22uF,16V 

C2,C4,C7 0.1 pF 

C3 0.47 pF (0.33 to 1 pF can be used) 

C5.Ce 20 to 30 pF 

0.47 pF 

100k tnmpol 

10k 

ISkRS 

33 ohm for HT us© 

4.7k 

4.7k to 12k (10k nomimal}adjust for keying HT (optional) 

^kRl2.Rl4 470 ohms 

6dlc 

V* amp fuse 

Most parts art readily avaifabla, with the exception of the modem chip and 
crystal. These can be obtained from your local Texas Instruments disidbu- 
tor- F. Kevin Foeney WB2EMS can supply a chip/crystal pair for $24 as 
welt as blank PC boards for $7 each (see author's bio for address) Kits 
may al$o ba avatleb^e. Contact ttie authors for details The software, 
including source code, is availatife from the authors on disk for $10 and 
from various sites on lnterr>et. You can also down toad PUP from the 73 
BBS at (603) 525-4438. Look under ihe 7:? MAG SiG. 



ca 

fi1,R2 

R3,RT0 

R4 

R6 

R7 

RB 

R9,nii 

R13 
F1 



multi-turn 

20ktrjm pot 

e ohm, 1 Watt for base^mobile use 



adjusUnent of the audio level, and CA breaks the 
DC path to the transmitter in case it has a DC 
bias, like the input circuits of many HTs. 
Pin 14 IS the transmit digital data fh>ni the 



software to the modem. It comes out from the 
Di) bit (pin 2) an the printer port and causes the 
modem tone output to switch between 1200 and 
2200 Hz with the zeros and ones. 

PTT for the modem is arranged by driving the 
D I bit of the pnnter port (pin 3) HIGH . This output 
drives Q2 through R7, pulling the transistor's 
output LOW and keying the rig, 02 can handle 
about 50 mA. For use with ICOM style HT key- 
ing, resistor R8 should be connected between 
die transmit audio line and the collector of Q2, 

For r^ios with ^parate PTT Hnes, R8 should 
be eliminated. I have found values between 4,7k 
and 12k to work well ai R8. If die resistance is 
loo high, the radio won't key retiabiy . If it's too 
low, the transmit audio may be shunted to 
ground. In using the modem with an ICOM HT, 
I found that if the transmit gain is set too high^ 
the radio wiU key as soon as ihe microphoi^ 
plug is installed. I believe this is diK to the 
negalive-gotng swings of the audio pulling cur- 
rent from the HT keying circuit and turning it 
on. I just adjust die transmit gain pot RS until the 
radio unkeys. At that level it is far too high for 
proper modulation anyway. 

As^mblyandTuneup 

1 have built a number of these modems in 

different configuraticms. If you are brave of 
heart and steady of hand, it is possible to cram 
the eniiie modem into a DB'2S connector hous- 
ing, which can then plug directly into the back of 
a laptop with only a cable to the radio, Tve 
managed it twice, and if you can steal power 
from the serial port to run it, it makes the sweet- 
est little portable packet setup you ever saw. If 
you do try it. start with a 16-pin DIP 
socket and get the smallest pots you 
can. Mine has a couple of layers of 
components in one area, separated by 
tape. Be creative and know it can be 
done. 

For those less fanatic builders, the 
modem can easily be buih on a 1.6" x 
2* piece of vectorboard. You can d- 
tber attach the board directly to the 
DB-25 connector by wedging the 
board between the rows of pins and 
applying some epoxy (after making 
the required connections!^), or you 
can separate the board and the con- 
nector with a shod, S-wire cable. 
Parts layout on the modem is not criti* 
cal, except to keep the connections 
around the crystal short. I have built 
10 modems with six different layouts 
from **crammed** to **wide open 
spaces/' and none has failed to work. 
A PC board is available to help in 
assembly {see the Paru» List and Fig- 
ures 2 and 3). Two versions of the 
modem interface are shown. The 
smaller board in Figure 2 is designed 
for portable laptop operation. While 
the larger circuit shown in Figtjre 3 
can be used for portable laptop use. it 
is best used for a home computer in- 
stallation where you plan to leave the 
modem interface hooked up for long periods. 
The home interface draws more current and 
needs a separate power supply (either from a 
9'voll battery or DC wall supply). 



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FL-G3A 250 Hz CW filter (1st IF) 59.00 

FL-52A 500 Hz CW filter (2nd IF) 115.00 

FL-53A 250 Hz CW filtef (2fid tf) 1 15.00 

f L-70 2.8 kHz wide SSB fitter .... 59.00 

IC-735 HFXOT/SW rm^/mir ,„...,,, 1149.00 

PS-SS E/ternaf power supply 219.00 

AT-150 Automatic antenna tuner , 445.00 

a'32A 500 Hi CW filter 69.00 

EX'243 Electronic keyer unit 64.50 

UT-30 Tone encoder 18.50 



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IC 726 10-bandxcvrw/6m 1299.00 

HF Accessones: Regular 

IC-m HF solid state amp w/ps. $1999.00 

IC-4a HF 1 kvv amp w/ps • Sp&ciaL 6995.00 

EX-G27 Auto ant selector • Speasl. 315.00 

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AH'2 8-band tuner w/mount & whip 758.00 

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[C-275A 25 w Zm FM/SSB/CW w/ps..... $1299 00 1129 

IC-275H 100w2mF^!/SSB/CW 1399.00 1199 

»C-475A 25w 440 FM/SSB/CW w/ps 1399.00 1199 

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AH-32 2ni/440 Dual Band mobile ant $39.00 

AHB''32 Trunk lip mount 35.00 

Larsen PO-K Roof mount 23.00 

Larsen PO-TLM Trunk-lip mount 24.70 

Larsen PO-MM Magnetic mount 28.75 

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RP-i510 2m 25w repeater ^^ „. $1849.00 1643 

RP'2210 220MHr 25w rptr • SpeciaL. 1549.00 1399 
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RC-12 Infrared remote controller 70.99 

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n 




13 byrfinClflCUtTS 



J 




<mm 



<iQf; 




J. 



nil AUDIO GND 
HKRUDIO 



7-13 UOC 



GND 



mnuoro &N0 



THnuoio 



PTT 



Figure 2. PC board foil pane m for the laptop interface, {a) Top 
layer (solder the top pads as well as on the bottom), (b) Bottom 
layer, (c) Parts placement. 



Why two versions of the modem? In Lhe inter- 
est of portability, the laptop interface lacks a 
tinie-out circuit to make jt ^ small as possible. It 
is designed to be hooked up only wj^n you want 
to operate packet. The problem is that when you 
exit the PMP program (or if the computer resets 
itself), the laptop imerface may key down your 
transmitter continuously (a detailed explanation 
of this appears in the "Enhancing PMP" section 
of this article). This is not a problem when you 
are actually running the PMP program, howev- 
er. The larger home stauon interface (Figure 3) 
solves this with a watchdog circuit and can be 
left hooked up to your parallel port indefinitely. 
Jusl remember: When using the scaled 'down 
laptop interface, always disconnect it from 
your computer when you're done operating 



To assemble the laptop interface , jtist slide the 
PC board between the rear pins of the DB-25 
connector and solder in place. Install the compo- 
nents and make up cables to nan to your radio. 
The interface can be powered by running a cable 
over to the serial pon.(Scc Figure 3 for serial 
port connection). 

The laptop interface board will fit into the 
Radio Shack transmitter case (RS ^ 270-293). 
The end panel of the case should be notched out 
to mount the DB-25 connector. Use washers to 
space the connector away from the end panel 

12 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ August, 1991 



far enough so that the 
PC board jtist fits into 
the compartment. This 
''transmitter case** has 
an internal space specifi- 
cally designed for an op- 
tional 9-voll battery as 
well. 

The home station 
modem interface re- 
quires a larger case, Al- 
so you will have to wire 
up a cable to run over to 
your computer's parallel 
port. Sec Figure 3 fcM" 
details. 

Checkout and 
Adjustments 

After construction is 
completed, apply power 
to the modem with the 
TChOlOS chip unsock- 
eted. You should have 5 
volts on pin L If not, 
check the regulator chip 
Ul and associated wir- 
ing. Check pin 7 and ad- 
Just Rl initially for a 
voltage of 2,26 VDC, 
Check pin 10 aiKJ adjust 
R2 for 2.5 volts. Next, 
remove the power and 
insen U2. Connect the 
modem to the computer 
and the receive audio 
line to the radio. Don't 
connect the transmit hnfs 
at this point. Boot up the 
computer, load the disk, 
and type PMP to start the 
program. When the title 
screen appears, press any key to go to the operat- 
ing screen. 

To adjust the Carrier Delect threshold pot. 
R2, connect the receiver and squelch the radio. 
Turn R2 until the RX indicator in the lower right 
comer of the screen disappears. The RX indica- 
tor is tied to the operation of the CDT line. It 
indicates when PMP starts to attempt decoding 
packets, Now unsquelch the radio and turn up 
the volume until it reappears. Resquelch the ra- 
dio and be sure it disappears immediately. The 
object is to have the CDT line quickly and clean- 
ly follow the operation of the radio's squelch. If 
R2 is set loo close to the 
threshold, the CDT line 
will not follow the clos- 
ing of the radio's squelch 
quickly enough. If the 
RX symbol on the screen 
never goes away, nmke 
sure you have the mo- 
dem plugged securely 
onto the printer port, that 
it has power applied, and 
that pin 3 of die modem 
chip is wired correcUy to 
pin 1 1 on the printer port 
connector. 

To set the RX bias, set 
R I for a reading of 2.26 



•^-PTIGND 



volts at pin 7 of U2; that is a good starting value. 
When you begin listening to actual pack^, if 
they are not being printed on die screen, you can 
rock Rl back and forth until you start copying 
packets. It helps to have a nearby friend send a 
bunch of beacons or unprotocoled packets for 
this. Andy has written a supplementary program 
called PMPTEST diat simplifies this process by 
giving an indication of how closely adjusted Rl 
is. Using the program and listening to on-the-air 
packets will get R I dialed in pretty quickly. 

To adjust the transmit audio, send packets 
while listening on a second receiver. Adjust R5 
until the audio stops increasing, then back it off 
until the audio just starts to diminish. This 
should put you near the edge of limifing and give 
you the cleanest audio. The adjustment isn*t 
very critical ^ but if you are having problems 
communicating with a particular station, you 
may need to rock it a little near that threshold of 
limiting to account for the '*twist" between the 
1200 and 2200 Hz tones, 

E^' Operation 

To set up PMP for operation, you first have to 
edit the configuration file. This is where you tell 
PMP your callsign, and other information, such 
as how long you need to wait for your transmit- 
ter to key up— the same infonnation you have to 
provide any TNC before operation. The default 
infonnation will work for most users, needing 
only the correct callsign entered. This can be 
done with any ASCII text editor. The software 
supplied on the disk contains a program to build 
your configuration file automatically, 

PMP is simple to use. Just hook up the cables 
to your radio, and plug the interface into your 
CCNnputer'*^ parallel port. Hook up to the serial 
pon for power if you aren't using a 9-volt bat- 
tery (only for the laptop interface version). In- 
sert your PMP disk and type PMP at the prompt . 
Hit enter after you see the opening screen and 
youVe ready to go! Andy has simplified a lot of 
the commajids to be single keystrokes. For in- 
stance Alt-C commands a connect, Alt-D a dis- 
cotTJiect and Ah-H displays the help screen. Hit 
Alt-L to Stan capturing a text file. Hit Ali-L 
again whenever you want to close the capture 
file. See Table 2 for a complete list of com- 
mands. ASCII uploads and downloads are possi- 
ble, and the scrollback buffer is as large as avail- 
able memory. One operator in our area lets PMP 
monitof all day long, and simply walks back 
through the day's packets a screen at a time to 
view messages flowing in and out of the area BBS, 





Table 2. PMP Commands 


Alt^ 


Connect 


Ali-B 


Send Beacon 


Alt-D 


Disconnect 


A!t44 


Show thfl help screen 


Alt-J 


Copy 3 snapshot of tne current screen data to a file 


Alt-L 


Download/Capture a text file 


Atl-N 


Show a list of nodes recently heard 


Alt^P 


Pause the screen 


Alt-S 


Show the system status 


Att-U 


Upload a text file from disk 


Alt-W 


Write the scrollback buffer to disk 


Att-X 


Exit PMP 


F1'F4 


Userdefinabfe macros 


Up/Down 


Scroltoack a Jine at a lime 


PgUp/PgDn 


Scroil back a page at a time 



OVER 45,000 PK-232S SOLD! 



The AEA PK-232 mulli-mode 
data controller remains the 
most widely used radio data 
controller in the world. More 
hams own the PK-232 than any 
other radio data controller, and 
AEA*s hard-earned reputation 
for quality and service keeps 
them coming back. The '232 
gained its popularity with 
features like these: 

STATE-OF-THE-ART 
TECHNOLOGY 

Since its introduction in 1986, 
the PK'232 has 
been updated six 
times to continue 
bringing you the 
breakthroughs. Six 
updates in four 
years! And even the 
very first PK-232 is 
upgradable to the 
latest model, with a 
relatively inexpensive 
user-instailed kit. 
If you want a state- 
oftheart multi-mode 
controller, you want 
the PK-232 MBX. 



SUPERIOR FILTERING 

The 8-pole Chebyshev filter in 
the PK-232 was designed from 
the ground up to work on HF 
and VHP, We didn^t just add 
some firmware to a Packet 
modem to create our multi- 
mode. Our modem was 
proven superior by tests in 
Packet Radio Magazine over a// 
the others tested. Read the 
fine print! You just can't beat 
the PK-232 for performance, 
quality and integrity. 45,000 
PK-232 owners can't be wrong! 




The only data contfoner designed from the ground up to De alrue 
multi-mode, the PK-232's tuning and status rndicators work in all 
modes, not just packet. Make sure the multhmode you buy isn't just 
a converted Packet TNC, There's only one number 1 ! 



INNOVATION 

The PK-232 has been the 
one to follow for technology 
advances. It was the first radio 
data controller with weather-fax, 
the first with Host mode, the 
first with N AVTEX, the first with 
Signal Identification, the first 
with TDM, the first with AMTOR 
V.625, the first with a WHYNOT 
connmand, etc, etc. AEA has 
always strrved to '*Bring You The 
Breakthrough/' and while 
others have tried to imitate, 
only one can be the best. 



HOST MODE 

Many superior 
programs have been 
written specifically for 
the PK-232 in Host 
mode language: 
NEW POPakratt II 
for IBMs and 
compatibles, updated 
MacRATT for Apple 
Macintosh, and 
Com-Pakratt or 
Commodore C-64 and 
C-128 computers. 



ALL DIGITAL OPERATING 

MODES 

The PK-232 MBX includes all 
authorized amateur digital 
modes available tod ay.. Packet, 
Baudot, ASCII, AMTOR/ 
SITOR (including the new 625 
recommendation) and Morse 
code, as well as WEFAX 
(receive and transmit). Other 
features include the PakMail 
18K byte maildrop system with 
automatic normal and reverse 
forwarding, NAVTEX/AMTEX 
reception, KISS protocol 
support » binary file transfer 
and more- Also included 
is the TDM (Time Division 
Multiplex) mode for SWLing 
that few others have. No 
other multi-mode has all 
these features. 



SIGNAL ANALYSIS 

The first multi-mode to offer 
SIAM (Signal Identification and 
Acquisition Mode) was, of 
course, the PK-232MBX. 
Indispensible to SWLers, SIAM 
automatically identifies Baudot, 
ASCn; AMTOR/SITOR (ARC 
and FEC) and TDM signals, 
then measures baud rate and 
polarity. Once the PK-232MBX 
is locked on" to the signal, a 
simple "OK'' command 
switches to the recognized 
mode and starts the data 
display. You're even ready to 
transmit in that mode if 
applicable. 

The PK-232MBX makes 
SWLing easy and fun, not 
difficult and frustrating. 



AEA Brings You a Better Experience. 

Advanced Electronic Applications, Inc. 

2006-1 96th St. S.W./P.O. Box C2160 Lynnwood, WA 98036 {206)775-7373. 

Prices and specifications subject to change without notice or obligation. 

© Copyright 1990 by AEA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 



REPUTA TION 

The PK-232MBX has helped 
AEA establish its hard-earned 
reputation for producing high 
quality amateur radio products. 
Anyone can say they have a 
good reputation, so it pays to 
ask around. Listen on the HF 
bands and see which multi- 
nnode is getting t/sed. You 
owe it to yourself to get the 
best possible value for your 
money. Don't settle for less! 

Watch for the DSP- 1232 and 
2232 coming soon! 







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Figure 3. (a) PC bijard foil paitem for the home smtion interface uiih watchdog timer circuit, 
(b) Parts piacement. 

user out of ihe keyboard! (This will also happen 
if the radio becomes uisquelched accidentally, 
or if the modem falls off the parallel port, allow- 
ing the CDT pin 10 float HIGH . ) In urban areas it 
can make ihings difficult The only solution is to 
wait until the channel activity calms down, or 
pick a iesh busy frequency. 

PMP has been checked out on a fair sample of 
IBM PCs and compatibles. It does require pretty 
good compatibility with the IBM standard. 
Some problems have been reported with ma- 
chines that have known IBM compatibility prob- 
lems, such as the ATT PC6300. A panial fist of 
machines it is known to work on includes an 
IBM PC/XT. Toshiba TIOOO, Leading Edge 
Model D. Tandy 1 lOOFD. WYSE PC286, and 
various 286 aiKl 386 machines using Award 
BIOS. It even runs in a window under Desqview 
onmv 3H6 machine. 



Poissible Problems 

Because of its simprLcityf PMP is not quite as 
foolproof as a fiitl-iealured TNC, One potential 
problem area would be a slow squelch on a 
radio. Since PMP does not use a DQD (Data 
Carrier Detect) circuit, it depends on the squelch 
in conjunction with the CDT tine from the 
modem to tell it when a packet starts and ends. A 
slow squekh opening may clip the packet header 
with the call sign information off. rendering the 
packet unusable. A slow closing squelch is less 
of a problem because the software can tell by the 
ending flags where the packet terminated, but 
the computer remairLs frozen from responding to 
the keyboard or displaying the packet until the 
sqoelch closes and the CDT line goes low again. 
The rule of thumb is 10 put the squelch close to 
the threshold of opening to help the speed. 

The second potential problem is related— per- 
formance on a very busy channel. Because of the 
simplicity of the hardware, the software is very 
heavily tasked during receive peritxls. literally 
liming and counting the bit flips from the 
modem. Allowing a keybcmrd intemipt or other 
dtstraaion during this period would cause the 
system to lose track of the packet it was in the 
process of receiving, so all the intemipis are 
masked off when CDT is high. 

On a very busy channel, CDT will go high 
with each packet heard, and if there is near 
oontinuous traffic this can effectively lock the 

14 73 AmatBur Rsdfo Today * August. 1991 



Etihanciiig VMP 

Figure I shows the schematic for the simplest 
version (the laptop interface) of the modem (the 
circuit above the dotted line)* designed to be 
hung on the back of a laptop. However, there are 
a few ei\hancements below the doited line that 
might be of interest (the home station interface). 

The radio PTT line is keyed by a signal from 
the software via the Dl data line on the parallel 
port; but Dl is only under control when PMP is 
actually running. If you want to leave the 
modem and radio connected at all times ^ you 



may find that Dl is turned on by other programs, 

or foUowing a reboot, which inadvertantly keys 
the transmitter. At times, you may also wish to 
leave the computer unattended, perhaps to mon- 
itor traffic on a channel. An accidental reboot 
from a power loss could leave D 1 in an unknown 
state and the transmitter keyed. 

To address this, U3 was added to form a time- 
out timer. U3 is a 74LS123 one-shot multivibra- 
tor with edge -triggered inputs, whose output cir- 
cuit is used to drive Q2 instead of letting PMP 
conirol it directly. The output of the one-shoe 
stays LOW until pin 2 goes HIGH, then it raises 
its Q output, turning on transistor Q^- The out- 
put only stays HIGH for about 10 milliseconds, 
unless pin 2 goes LOW and then HIGH again. 
Pin 2 is connected to the tranmit daia from the 
PMP program. When PMP is running and send- 
ing data to be trans mined, the data line connect- 
ed to pin 2 is toggling at about a 600 Hz rate. 
Each transition resets the lime-out on the one- 
shot, keeping its output HIGH and the transmit- 
ter continuously keyed as long as data is being 
sent. When the flow of data stops, pin 2 stops 
changing state, and the one-shot times out 10 
milliseconds later, unkeying the transmitter. 

If the program locks up, or the computer re- 
sets, or if another program is being run. Dl wDl 
likely sit at either a one or a zero, but it probably 
won*t be toggling at 600 Hz. So, the transminer 
will only burp for 10 milliseconds if Dl goes 
HIGH, and then it will stay off. D4 and Ri4 use 
the /Q output of the one-shot to provide an op- 
tional keying indicator. 

The circuitry" associated with Q3 and D3 also 
provides for a receive LED. The base of Q3 is 
tied to the Carrier Detect (CDT) line of the 
modem chip, and when it goes HIGH indicating 
received audio, Q3 mmson. causing D3 to light- 
I use a green LED for D3 , and a red LED for D4 . 

For portable of>eration, the bare bones modem 
has a low enough current drain that you may be 
able to steal enough power from your comput- 
er's serial pt)rt 10 run it (or use a 9- volt battery). 
The PMP configuration file has provisions that 
allow you to command the handshake lines of the 
serial pon to a desired state. In my case, I com- 
mand both the hardware handshake lines HIGH 
and OR them through a pair of diodes to provide 
about 7 volts at 12 mA. just enough to give me 5 
volts out of the regulator. The voltage and cur- 
rent available from the CTS and DTR lines 
varies from machine to machine, but if you can 
do it, it reduces the entire packet setup to a 
computer, a cable and a radio. I have not seen 
anything simpler for portable packet! Because it 
15 so simple 10 drag arotmd comptarcd to other 
packet systems, I find myself running packet 
from all kinds of locations— the park at lunchtime, 
a weekend campsite, or even the laundromat! 

Poor Man's Packet has achieved both of the 
goals we set out to accomplish. Andy now has an 
inexpensive system to allow him to join local 
packet operations* and I have an easy-to-use 
packet system for portable qperation. 



Contact F. Kevin Feertey WB2EMS at 468 

Mines Road. Nenfieid NY 14S67. Please en- 
close an SASE. You can also reach him at 
kfeeney@helios. ttu comeli edu. You may 
reach Andy Payne N8KEI. the sofi^^'are de- 
signer, at payne@ theory, tc. comelL edu. 






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16 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



CmCLE 162 OH READER SERVICE CARD 



Feedback 



In our continuing effort to present tfie best 
in amateur radio features and columns, we 
recognize the need to go directty to the 
source— you, the reader. Articles and 
columns are assigned feedback numbers, 
which appear on each artlcle/cofumn and 
are afso listed here. These numbers corre* 
spond to those on the feedback card oppo- 
site this page. On the card» please check 
the box which honestly represents your 
opinion of each article or column. 

Do we really read the feedback cards? 
You betf The results are tabulated each 
month, and the editors take a good, haid 
look at what you do and don't like. To show 
our appreciation, we draw one feedback 
card each month and award the lucky win- 
ner a free one-year subscription (or exten- 
sion) to 73. 

To save on postage, why not filf out the 
Product Report card and the Feedback 
card and put them in an envelope? Toss in 
a damning or praising letter to the editor 
white you're at it. You can also enter your 
QSL in our QSL of the Month contest. All 
for the low, low prtce of 25 cants!! 

Feedback* Title 

1 Letters 

2 Never Say Die 

3 QRX 

4 Poor Man's Packet 

5 Review: Kantronics KTU 

6 Low Cost Discone Antenna 

7 High Speed Data Acquisition 

6 Software for the Hamshack, Part IV 

9 Review: TAPR Metcon-1 

10 Universal CAT Interface 

1 1 Review; Pkt-GOU) 

12 Deafer Directory 

13 ORP 

14 Hams with Class 

15 Hamsats 

16 DX 

17 Barter 'n' Buy 

18 Above & Beyond 

19 Updates 

20 Special Events 

21 RTTY Loop 

22 New Products 

23 Ask Kaboom 

24 Homrng In 

25 ATV 

26 Random Output 

27 Propagation 
26 73 International 

29 Hope for Monolingual Hams 



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nt X EkM Se- Uimnl. Vkrgifi^ 231 1? 




afiCi£ se ON heai^e^ service card 



CIRCLE 21 OM RUDER SERVICE CARD 




KantronicsWeathernode 



is is not a TNC 

This device gathers weather data at your station 
and makes it available to others via an external 
TNC and a Local Packet Network. Members of 
the Packet LAN can sinnply ask for tables of tem- 
perature, wind direction or wind speed. The 
Kantronics Weathemode then provides this data 
with the convenience of a mailbox jy^with th 
speed of the most advanced techrioic^Tr\'ajf ab I 



Included with the KTU Weat hern ode fs a custom 
EPROM which provides temperature sensing, and 
with the weathervane and rah guage options.can 
supply wind speed, direction and rainfall data. 




The KTU is easily adapted to mufti-site in 
tions and may be remotefy accessed wrth pq^^ 
word protectk>n and programmed by the syso^o 
your network's requirements. 

Tile Kantronics KTU, the first to provide remote 
weather data to a Packet LAN. 



Kantronics 1202 E. 23rd St., Lawrence, KS 66046 
913.842,7745 TELCO BBS 913.842.4678 





73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 17 




COMMUNICATIONS 



AOR Scanners. 

Great Performance. Great Service. Great Value 



Free Freight 

25-Day Money-Back Guarantee 
Toll-Free Service and Support 
No Credit Card Surcharge 
One Year Warranty 




1000 Channels- 8-600MHZ, 805-1300MHz 

standard Features: 

' Extremely compact size. 

* Continuous coverage (except UHFTV 600-805) 

- Antenna attenuator switch, lOdb, 

* Manual tuning knob. 

* Earphone jack, 33mm. 

* AM, FM and wide band FM tuning modes, 

■ Backlighted LCD display. 

■ 10 Scan Banks, 10 Search Banks, 
' Selectable Priority Channel. 

- Delay, Hold Features. 

* Selectable Search Increments, 5-955KHz. 

* Permanent memor\^ backup. 

^ 4 A A Ni Cad batteries included. 
' AC adaptor /charger 

- Carry Case. 

- Cigarette Lighter Charger, 

- Beit Clip. 

- Earphone. 

Options: 

External Spea ker . Mobile Mount. 
Extended Warranty. 2/3 yrs 



MSI 90 $19,50 
$45/ $55 



Speclficafions: 
Coverage: 

Sensitivity: 

Speed: 

IF; 

Increments: 

Audio: 

Power 

Antenna: 

Display: 

Dimensions; 



8-600, 805,1 300MHz 
35uV NFM, LOuV WFM, LOAM 
20 ch /sec. scan, 40 ch /sec. search 
561.225, 58.075, 455KHz or 10.7MHz 

5 to 955KHz selectable/ 5 or 123 steps. 
.4 Watts 

Input 9 - 13.8 V. DC 

BNC 

LCD 

6 7/8Hxl3/4Dx21/2W. 12ozwt. 




100 Channels. Low, Air, High, UHF & 
800MHz • 

Standard Features: 

' Extremely compact size. 

* Unrestricted 800MHz coverage. 

- 100 channels permanent memory. 

- Earphone }ack &l Attenuator, 

* Delay, Hold features. 

- Channel 1 Priority. 

' 5 Scan Banks, 5 Search Banks. 

* Telescopic and Flexible Antennas 
w/ BNC connector. 

* AC & DC Power cords w/ mtng hardware. 
' One Year Limited Warranty. 

Options: 

Base type antenna 

25 to lOOOMHz w 50'coax. 
Mag Mnt Mobile Antenna. 15' coax. 
Cigarette Lighter power adaptor. 
External Speaker 

with mobile mount. 
Extended Warranty. 2/3 yrs 

Specifications: 
Coverage: 

Sensitivity: 



AS300 $59.95 
MATOO $25.00 
CPIOO $4.00 

MSlOO $19.50 

$40/$55 



Scan Speed: 
IF: 

Increments: 

Audio: 

Powen 

Antenna: 

Display: 

Dimensions: 



27-54, 108-174, 406^512, 830'950MHz 

.4uV Lo,Hi. .8uV Air, .5uV 

UHF. l.OuV 800 

15 ch/sec. 

21.4MHz, 455KHz 

10,12.5,2530 

IW 

12JVDC, 2CK)MA 

BNC 

LCD w/backlight 

2 1/4H X 5 5/8W x 6 1/2D. 14oz wt. 



We offer lOO's of communications products* 



CffiCl£ 164 ON mMMB S€HVK:£ €Atf> 




COMMUNICATtONS 



AR2500 



$499 




2016 Channels. 1 MHz to 1500 MHz 

Slandard Features 
•Continuous coverage 

• AM, FM, wide band FM, & BFO for SSB, CW, 
•64 Scan Banks. 

•16 Search Banks, 

•RS232 port built in. 

•Includes AC/DC pwr crd. Antenna, Mntng Brckt. 

• One Year Limited Warranty, 



Options; 
Earphone. 

External Speaker. Mobile Mount 
Extended Warranty. 2/3 yrs. 
Mobile Mounting Bracket. 
Iffi232 Control Package 

(software & cable) offers spectrum display 

and database. 



EP200 $2.00 
MS190 $1930 
$65/75 
MMl $14,90 
SCS2 $295.00 



Specifications: 
Coverage: 
Sensitivity: 

Speed: 

IF: 

Incremente: 

Audio: 

Power: 

Antenna: 

Display: 

Dimensions: 



1 MHz - 1500MHz 
35uVNFM, LOuVWFM. 
l.OAM/SSB/CW 

38 ch/sec. scan. 38 ch/sec. search 

750.00, 45.0275, 5.5MHe 455KHz 

5,12^,25 KHz 

1.2 Watts at 4 ohms 

Input 13.8 V. DC 300niA 

BNC 

LCD, backlighted. 

2 1/4H X 5 5/8W X 6 1/2D Wt. lib. 



AR3000 



$995 




400 Channels. lOOKHz to 2036MHz. 

Standard Features: 

• Extremely compact size. 

• Continuous coverage 

• Attenuation Programmable by Channel. 
•Manual tuning knob. 

•Tuning increments down to 50Hz. 

• AM, FM, wide band FM, LSB, USB, CW modes. 

• Backlighted LCD display. 

•4 Scan and Search Banks, Lockout in Search. 
•4 Priority Channels. 

• RS232 control through DB25 connector. 

• I3elay, Hold Features, 

• 15 band pass filters, GaAsFET RF amp, 
•Sleep and Alarm Features. 

•AC adaptor /charger. DC power cord. 
•Telescopic Antenna. 

Options; 

Earphone. 

External Speaker, Mobile Mount, 
Extended Warranty. 2/3 yrs. 
Mobile Mounting Bracket. 
RS232 Control Package 



EP200 $2,00 
MS190 $19.50 
$65/75 
MM! $14.90 
SCS3 $295.00 



(software & cable) offers spectrum display 
and database. 



Specifications: 
Coverage: 

Sensitivity: 

Speed: 

ff: 

Incpeiiieiits: 

Selectivity; 

Audio: 
Power: 

Antenna: 

Display: 

Dimensions: 



lOOKHz^ 2036MHz 

3?uV MFM, LOuV WFM, 
TOAM/SSB/CW 
20 ch/sec. scan. 20ch/sec. search 
736.23, (352.23) (198.63) 45.0275, 455KHz 
50Hz and greater 
2.4Khz/-6db (SSB) 12KHz/-6db 
(NFM/AM) 
O Watts at 4 ohms 
Input 13.8 V. DC 500mA 
BNC 
LCD 
3 1 /7H X 5 2/5W x 7 7/8D Wt. 21b lOoz. 



To Order Call 1 • 800 • 445 • 7717 

In All 50 States and Canada. 24 Hours a Day. Fax Coders: 1-800-448-1084, 24 Hours a Day- 
ACE Communications Monitor Division 10707 E, 106th Street, Fishers, IN 46038 

Int'l Voice# 317-842-7115, Int'I Fax# 317-849-8794, 

Service and Support Lin^i Mon-Fri 9a.m. to 9p,m., Saturday 10-4. EST 

MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Checks, Approved P,0 /s- & C.O.D. (add 5.00) 

Prices ana specifications subject to change. 



CIRCLE 164 ON READER SERVICE CARD 



Number 11 on your Feedbacic c^nl 



73 Review 



by Marc Stem WAIR 



Pkt-GOLD 
Multimode 



InterRex Systems Design CoTp. 

P,0. Box 6418 

Laguna Niguel CA 92607-641 8 

(714)496-6639 
Price Class: $60 



Your software window into tfie world of digital communicationsi 



f 



I like new software, especially things I can 
use with my Heathkit HK-232 MBX multl^ 
mode controHer, aPK-232done* 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode is a program that 
turned out to be one of the best imptementa- 
tions of multimode controller software that 1 
have seen^^ln my opinion, the program does a 
great many things fight, or better-than-righ!, 
and it all adds up to quite a nice piece of work 
by the developers at Interf lex Systems. 

Installation 

For starters, loading and setting up the pro- 
gram on a hard disk is easy. All you do is put 
the disk into drive A, and type "MNSTALL"; the 
program does the res I. After you answer sev- 
eral questions about such things as baud rate, 
communications port, video adapter and the 
like, as wetl as filling in your call, you are ready 
to go by typing "^PKTGOLD" at the system 
prompt. 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode takes full advantage 
of AEA's "host*' mode— perhaps the most ro- 
bust implementation of "host" mode on the 
market. It allows you lo keep the memory 
backup batteries in place during power-up. 
AEA's own software indicates that you have to 
pull out the batlehes to prevent software hang- 
ing up, but PM*GOLD Multimode lets you 
leave the battenes in place. Pkt-GOLD Multi- 
mode emulates the PK-232's architecture in 
software, which makes your PC's RAM look 
like a multimode controller. To the controllef , it 
doesn't make a bit of difference where It gels 
Its information from, whether the information 
comes from its own buffers or your PC s RAM. 
Pkt'GQLD MuJtimtxle attempts to retain any 
text that might be in any of your ccntroiJer's 
buffers. If it does not find text, after checking 
several times fn an effort to avoid a RESET 
command, it then has to load the buffers with 
program and textual Information and this 
takes time. 

I found Ihat InterFiex's advice was well-tak- 
en as I tried using my controller both without 
and with batteries. Without batteries, and if 
the TNG was turned off, the initialization pro- 
cess took the better part of a minute. With the 
batteries, the initialization took about five sec- 
onds because the controller was set up and 
ready to go with parameters that I had already 
entered, 

20 73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 




Photo A. While you're connected to another 
statior), Pki-GOLD's versatile features allow 
you to monitor ait of the channel activity. AH 
activity Is displayed at the top of the screen 
(Net Vfew); your connect session is displayed 
at the bottom portion (Session)^ Pop-up 
screens are available ai any time. For exam- 
ple, pressing <ALT> F2 gives you the cur- 
rent MHBARD list. 



1^ H i9t myf 



AlJ !>■ 






toteiirt 








11 b^ 


■^ 


timlm 


' 



111 ft' 



TW* N fir mif 
r#* f hr Mm 

u * tuni. 






,-^1 u. «H-irf|sa 



Photo B. The help screen is avaltahte at any 
time as a pop-up menu. 



19^1 m «i mat. mtt^m # nuf m mn 



wn r 



«n«j. 



3iMI 



■SI Si^ 


■m * Ml Lb: 


' 


^iT^j^^* 


■# ill 

«iri mi 


mitt* •♦• 










itH 




. |. M. li ^^ 




KfUA 

















,mif lliM lb #»!«» UM lW 


mm niitt n^wi 0»i* vsvrck «hi 



Photo C. Pressing function key FtO allows you 
to quickly change modes. 



The bottom line is to put the batteries back 
in the THC, This saves Maildrop messages in 
case of power loss, and offers some other 
advantages as well (hke not losing your 
callsign, alias^ and other settings if there is a 
brief power loss, or if you turn off your TNG 
and turn it back on). With the batteries in- 
stalled. Pkt-GOLD Multimode zipped through 
the initialization. A pop-up window displayed 
the parameters that Pkt-GOLD Multimocle 
was loading into memory from the default 
ASCII text file, called ' Startup.TNC." If the 
Startup.TNC file is edited to bare bones start- 
up parameters, the initialization is virtually in- 
stant. 

A Versatile Program 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode *s development team, 
Lynn Taylor WB6UUT and Jeff Towle 
WA4EGT, have put lots of nice things into 
their software. 

For starters, the user interface is clean and 
intuitive. There's a brief listing of the function 
keys at the bottom of the screen. The ALT key 
changes the functionalily of those keys. The 
user interface also offers a split screen that 
lets you monitor what is going on with ses^ 
sions other than your own» as well as of your 
own. It's like having an eye on the frequency 
you are using, as well as on the station you are 
trying to contact. 

It's easy to see that this software Is power- 
ful. For example, when I was using Pkt-GOLD 
Multimode for multi-connects, I found that 
when 1 pressed the CTRL key on my PC, I saw 
a number of channels indicated at the bottom. 
In several of those channels I saw the stations 
thai 1 was trying to contact. When I was multi- 
connectingn the program latched onto the sta* 
lion with which I was trying to connect and 
assigned it a specific memory location^ or 
■'channel." Also, if you are doing a multi-con- 
nect, a few keystrokes will put these stations 
into one or more conferences, which is great 
for emergency situations or general round- 
table discussions. 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode is loaded with utili- 
ties. I found that not only could I log onto my 
favorite bulletin board and my home BBS, but I 
could also bg onto other stations at the same 
time. All I did was type in the callsign of the 
station I wanted to connect to, hit the F7 tunc- 




TH 



COMMUNICATIONS 
ELECTRONICS INC. 

Emergency Operations Center 

has expanded to our new two acre facility 
and World Headquarters. Because of our 
growth, CE( is now your one stop source 
for emergency response equipment When 
you have a command, control or com mun^ 
cations need, essential emergency sup- 
plies can be rushed to you by CEL As 
always, for over twenty two years, we're 
ready, willing and able to help. 

Our RELM two-way radtotransceivers were 
especially created for government agencies. 
When you need to talk to police, fire, ambu- 
lance, or state, federal and mternational 
response forces, RELM transceivers may be 
quickly programmed for up to 46 frequencies. 
Listed below, are some of our most asked 
about transceivers. For additional assistance, 
call CEI at 313-996-8888. 

NEW! RELM^ RSP500-A 

List price S465-00/CE price S319.95/SPeCiAL 
S& Chmrmmt « $ Wmtt • Hmndhmki Transceiver 

FmQyenc^ range: i4S-i74 MHi. cantmuQus c overdue 
Wttiatsowork f34-14B MHz. with mduceti performance. 
The RELM RSP500B-A is our most popular pro- 
gratnmabieS i^att 20chai^nei handheld transcetvef 
You can scan 20 channels at up lo40 channels per 
second. It mcfudes CTCSS tone arid digital coded 
SQpelch. Snap on batteries give you plenty of 
power Additional features such as time-out ttmer. 
busy-channet lockout. cJoning. plug-in programming 
and IBM PC compatabiifty are standard. It is FCC. 
type accepted fof data transmisaiori and D.O.C. 
approved, We recommend aiso ordefing the BC45 
rapid charge VA hour desk battery charger (of 
S99.9S. a deluxe leat her case LC45 for 546 95 and 
an external Speaker microphone with clipSM45 for 
$69-95. Smce this radio is programmed with an 
external programmer, be sure to also order on© 
PM45 at $74.95 for your radio system. 



RELM® Programming Tools 

li you are ttie dealer or radto technician mamtaintng 
your own radio system, yqu mutt order a programmmg 
twjl to activate various transceiver?- The PCKITOtO for 
S 149,95 is designed to program almost all HELM radios 
by interconnecting between a MS/ DOS PC and ihe 
radio. The PM1 OOA for S99.95 ts designed to externally 
program the R MV60 B. R M L 60 A. R M L60 B and L MV2 548 
radios. The SPM2 lot $49 95 is lor the LMV25B and 
LMUfSBtranscervers The nmP% for $49 95 is for the 
RMU45B transceiver ProgrammBfS ffiu$t j&e used with 
CAutmn &n<i onif by QuAtdfBti personnel baca u se tncorrBCt 
pfogmmmfng can cause severe fnferfefence amf tSis- 
wptton to operating commomcaUons systems 

ititir Unitien CB Radios iriric 

The Uniden line of Crti^ens Band Radio transceivers is 
designed to give you emergency communications at a 
reasonable price. Uniden CS radios are so reliable they 
have a two year limited warranty. 

Pil03iOE-A3 Uniaen AOCh Portable/MobKeCB. . 572 95 
PRO330E'A3 Uniderr 40 Ch. Remql^ mqgm CB - S99,95 
GRANT-Jl3Cj^iderT40chBnnel5SSC8fnabiJe ., , ,$15£ 95 
WASHINGTON-A Uniden 40 ch. SSB CS base $209.95 
PCI 22-A3 L/Jiiden 40 chenn^l SSB C8 mobile . , , S1 1 395 

PCeCAA Ur^ii:i9r} 40 channel CB Mobile , , $78.95 

PR051 0XL'A3 UnidBrj 40 channel CB Mobile $34.95 

PfiO520XL-A3 Untdsn 4C channel CB Mobile S49.95 

PR0535E*A UnidBH 40 channel CB Mobile, $7395 

PR053BW-A Untdsn 40 cH <^e&ther CB Mobile ... S78, 95 

PRO640E-A3 Unfden 40 ch, SSB C6 mobile $1 33.95 

PR0310E A Unidsr} 40 channel SSB CB Qas« . . . $174.95 



• •• 



Radar Oelactors^ ^ ic 



Buy (he finest Umden radar detectors from CEI today. 
CAftP-A3 Unt^en c red it card«j£$ radar det^tor . . S!27.9S 

RD3XL-A3 Urfid6f} 3 band radar detedor . .. . St24.95 

RD9GTL'A Lfrnden" Passport' sue radar defector, . 583.95 
R09XL«A3 Uniden "micro" »iie radaf detector ... $107.95 
R025'A UnitSGn wisor moynt radar tifilactOf «., $54.95 

Bearcat® 200XLT-A 

List price S509,95/CE pric« $239.95/SPECIAL 
Ig-Bmod, 200 Chmnnmi • 800 MHm. Hmndhmtd 
Bmmrch • Umit * Hold • Pfiofitf ♦ Unikinn 

frnQitency rsngs: 29-54, f Tfl-f 7< 406 if 2, S06B56 MHt. 
eMcludesS23.9a75'B49(i12B mnd 86S 9875- B94 0125 ¥Hz 

The Bearcat 200XLT sets a new starKiard for hand- 
held scanrters ir^ pertorfnance and dependat>JHty. 
This fuH featured unit has 200 programmable 
channels with 10 scanning banks and \2 band 
coverage. If you want a very similar model without 
the 800 MHz. band and 100 channels, order the 
SC 1 00XLT-A3 for only $1 79-96, Includes antenna, 
carrying case with belt loop, ni^cad battery pack, 
AC adapter and earphone. Order your scanner now. 



NEW! RELM® UC1 02/UC202 Bearcat® BOOXLT-A 



List price S12S,33/CE price $79.95/SPeCIAL 
CEI understands that aN agencies want e>icelF&nt com- 
munications capability, but most departments are 
strapped tor funds. To help, CEI now offers a special 
package deal on the REL M UC1 02 one watt transceiver 
You get a UC102 handheld transceiver on 154.5700 
MHj., Flexible antenna, battery charger and battery 
pack for only $7995. 11 you want even more power, 
order the REL MUG 202 two wart transceiver for $1 14.96, 



Listprfce$549.95/CEprlco$239.95/SPEClAL 
f 2- Band, 40 Channml • Ho-crystoi scanner 
Priority conftd • Search/Scan • AC/ DC 
Bands: 29-54, r^e ) 74, 406-512, 806-912 MHz. 
How.,.nothln9 mm^tudud in thm &&B-9la MMm bmttd. 

The Uniden 800XLTfeceives40 channels In twa banks. 
Scans 15 chajinefs per second. Slze9'4 ' x4i;i" x 12^.^ 
If you do not need the 800 MHz. band, a similar model 
called the BC 21 OXLT-A is available for $1 76.95. 



NEW! RELM® RH256NB'A NEW! Uniden® IVIR8100-A 



List price S449.95/CE price S299.95/SPECJAL 
10 Channmi • 25 Watt Transceiver • Prtority 
Tim^tHit iimm^ • Off Hoitk Priority d^annel 

The i=iELM RH256NB is the updajed version of the 
popular RELM RH256B smteen- channel VHF land 
moPile transceiver, The radio technician mamtam- 
inja yoy r radio system can store up to 1 6 fre<iuencfes 
wrtlKM^t an external programming tool. All radios 
come with CTCSS tone and scanning capabilities^ 
This transceiver even has a priohty function, Be 
$iire to order one set of programmirvg instructions, 
part * PI256N ^oj Si 0,00 and a service manual, 
part * SMRH256r* forS24.95 for the RH256NB. A 
60 Watt VHF 150-162 MHz. version called the 
RH606B IS available for $429.95. A UHF 15 wall, 
16 channel simltaf version of this radio called the 
LMU15B-A is also available and covers 450-432 
MHz. for or^fy $339.95 An external programming 
unit SFM2 for $49.95 Is needed for programming 
the LMU15B UHF transceiver. 

NEW! RELM^ LMV2548B*A 

List prtce S423.33/CE price S289.95/SPECIAL 
40 Cimnnmi • SB Wait TransGeivsr • Priority 

RELM's new LMV254aBgivesyou uptq48 channels 
which can be organized into 4 separate scan areas 
for convenient grouping of channels and improved 
communications efficiency. With an external prO' 
grammer, your radio technician can reprogram this 
radio in minutes with the PM100A programmer for 
$99.95 without even opening the transceivef A 
similar 1 6 chan nel. 60 watt unit called t he RM V60B 
Is available for 5489,95. A low band version called 
the RMLeOA ^or 30-43000 MHz. or the RMLB08 
fof 37-50.000 MH^. is also available tor $489.95. 



Call 313-996 8888 for special CEI pricing 
i 2- Band, tOO Ch»nn*f • Wufwmiiimncm mcann^r 

B^na&. 29-54, 7 76-i74, 406 5 J 2, 806 95$ MHz. 
The Untden MRS 100 surveitlance scanner is different 
from all ottier scanners, Originally designed for tnteh 
ligence agenctes. fire departinerYts and public safety 
use, this scanner offers a breakthrough of new and 
enhancedfeatures- Scan speed ES almost lOOctmnnels 
per second. You get four digjt readoui past the decimal 
point Complete coverage of 800 MHz tana when 
programmed witt^ a persorial computer. Alptia numeric 
designation of channels, separate speaker, tsacklitLCO 
display and more. To activate the many unique features 
o1 the Uniden MRB TOO a computer interface prc>grain is 
available for St 9.95. Due to manutactyrers temtoriBl 
restrictions, ttie MRS 100 es not available for direct 
shipment from CE( to CA. OR. WA NV. ID or UT. 

NEW! Ranger® RC 12950- A3 

List price S549.95/CE price $259.95/SPEClAL 
10 Mmimr Mobria Trmn»caivar • Digital ¥F0 
fail Band Cover agm « AlhModa Oparatian 
Backlii liquid cry 9 taf diaplmy « Repeatar Spiifm 
RIT * iO Prtygrammaiila Mamoty Poaitiona 

fr&QuBncv Cover^sre, 28.0QOQ MHi. to 23.6999 MHz. 

The Rarrger RCI2950 f^obiie 10 Meter Transceiver 
has everything you need for amateur radio com- 
munications. The RF power control feature in the 
RC 12950 allows you to adjust the RF output pov^er 
continuously from 1 watt through a full 25 wwatts 
output on USB, LSB and CW modes. You get a 
noise blanker, roger beep, PA mode, mike gain, 
digital VFO. butll-in S/Rf/MOD/SWR meter. Fre- 
quency selections may be made from a switch on 
the m^c^ophone or the ffont panel, The RCI2950 
gives you AM, FM, USB. LSB or CW operation. For 
techrticai info* CalJ Ranger a1 619*259-0287. 




RELM 
LMV2548B 
Onty S2B9.95 

OTHMH HADIOB AMO ACCE3SOR9ES 

XC365- A Onid«n Ultra CtearPltjs Cordless Prione S69.dS 
QTT&SS'AUntden sp9«k«rphone cordless phonft S10t,95 
6CS5XLT-A Bearcat TO channel scafiner $1 14 dS 

ADI 00^ A Plug in wall charger f&r BC55 JCLT S T 4 ^5 

PS001 -A Cigsreue (igfiter cable lor BCSSXLT . Si 4,95 

VCOOt-A Carrying case for BCSSStLT ...... ft 4 95 

BC70XLTA Btt^fcat 20 channel scanr^et. .,,...., S 1599& 
BC142XL A Bearcat 10 cti. 10 ttand scanner $64 95 

BC147XLT-A Bearcst 13 ch. VQ band scanner S94,95 

BC172XL ASeafcaf 20ch 11 band scanner Si 34 95 
BC1 77XLT'A Bearcat 16 Ch. 1 1 tjand scanner SI 34 55 
BC590XLTAa$afcra/iOOch, Tt band scanner $194,95 
BC760XLTA Ssarca/ 1 00 ch, 12 band scanner. . . $?54.95 
BC003- A CTCSS tone board for BC590/76aXLT . S549S 
BCIX>3- A Swfilch assembiy for BC590/760XLT ... $22.96 
BCeS5XLT-A Bearcat 50 ch. 1 2 band scanner , . S 19S.9& 
BCl-A Baarcat Intorrnaiion scanner with CB ... . .SI £9,95 

eC330A-A B^arcBt Information scanner , , SS9.9S 

6C500XLTA Bearcat 16 Ch. 10 band scanner S94 95 
BPZOSA ^Jl■Cad batt pack for HC200/BC100XLT. . 139.93 

TnAVELLER2'A Gtundig shortwave receiver $6995 

CO$M0P0L)T-A Grundtg shortwave receiver , Si 99,95 
SATELLIT500-A Grs/ndig Shortwave receiver . $679 95 

SATELLlTeSO Gfundig shortwave fecaiver S949 95 

ATS803AA S^ng^an shorlwave receiver S 1 55 95 

74t 03- A Kta^i^nd emergency weather receiver S39,95 
fn 1 S' A M'dia n cr C a wim VHF weat her & an lenna. . S66 95 
771 1 B^ A Midiand CB mobile wrth VHF weather $62.9S 
7 79 1 3- A Mtdta ndCB portable with VH F wealher S79. 95 

7e3O0-A W^rflafldCB base slat kjfi .......... S9? 95 

FBE*A FreQuer^cy D^rectoiy for Eastern U.S.A . . £14.95 
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RFD1 AMI. It, IN. KY.OK W| Frequency Directory *14 95 
RFD2^A CI, ME, MA NH. RU VJ Otrectory , $14 95 

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HFD4A AL. AR FL, GA, LA. MS, NC. PR SC.TNVI 5 1 4.95 
E FOB- A AK, ID, t A M N. MT. NE NO. OR SD. WA WY S 1 4 OS 
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PWB-A Passpoa to World Band Radio,. «„. SI 6.95 

ASD- A Airplane Scanner Directory 514.95 

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EEC'A Embassy & Espionage Comrnunicalbns . S14.95 
SMH'A2 Scanner Modification HandbooK Vol. £ ... SIS, 95 

UN-A Late&t Intelligence by James E Tunnell S16,95 

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A70-A Base eiarlon scanner antenna . $34.95 

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BUY WITH CONFIDENCE 

Michigan residents please add 4% sales rax or supply your 
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prices are in US dollars Ou^of stock rtemswMI be placed o«i 
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Mail orders to: Communications Electron icsr 
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handling in the contir>ental y.S,A, For Canada, 
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For credit card order, call toll-free in the U.S. Dial 
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Scanner Distribution Center" and CEI logos are Irade^ 

marks of Communications Electronics Inc. 

Sal*j dares 3/15/91-1 0/3 1 /9i AD #03259 1 * A 

Copyright c< 1991 Communications Electronlci inc. 

For more information call 

1-313-996-8888 

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Emergency Operations Center 

P.O, Box T045 n Ann Arpor MicHigan 46 1 06- 104 5 USA 
For orderi call Z\^BSB-BBQ& or FAX 31 3-€63-S8aa 

CIRCLE 121 ON REAPER S€RVtCE CARD 



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CIRCLE 232 ON READER SERVICE CARD 

22 73 Amateur RBdia Today • August, 1991 



tioo key, and then swttch sessions with the F4 
function key. Each session would alert me if 
there was mail or traHic waiting with a flashing 
prompt on the graphics screen. I was then 
able to personalize things by going back to 
each session with the F4 function key and. by 
using ALT-N (name) keys, type in the opera- 
tor's name which then appeared nexl lo the 
callsign on each session screen. 

Using the "next" key [F4], I was able lo 
cycle through the sessions easity. Note that 
each session was individual and any text I 
typed was used only by the particular session I 
had attached to. Pkt-GOLO Multimode also 
has "cut and paste" features that allow you to 
transfer text lo another station For example. I 
cut text from an AMTOR session, and sent \t to 
the local packet BBS after editing it using the 
clipboard editor Also, printing to a printer or 
file is easy using [AU-P]. Printing can com- 
mence from the begi nning of the screen buffer 
(which can be as much as 300K), or you can 
just print new text. 

The program also supports saving session 
text on a callsign-by-callsign basis. You tag 
certain sessions as "important/' and every 
time that station connects, text is saved/ap- 
pended to a file with the callsign as the file 
name. These are certainly useful features for 
emergencies or situations requiring backup 
documentation. 

There is no special screen to go to, bul you 
can enter a full screen parameter editor if you 
wish. Changing one or a few parameters ts 
done easily by typing the parameter and val- 
ue, and using the CMD key [F10]. Basically, 
you use the [Enter] key to send things 
THROUGH the controller over to the other 
station, and the [FtO] key to send things TO 
yourconlroller. such as parameter changes or 
new settings. 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode also understands 
how to use NET/ROM for hopping from node 
to node. Connecting to a node and requesting 
a circuit to the next node takes time, Pkl- 
GOLD Multimode does the waiting and auto- 
matically issues the subsequent "oonnecl" 
requests for you. You just type something like 
this: CN0DE1 1 N0DE2 | N0DE3 | W2ABC 
and Pkt-GOLD Multimode handles al( the in- 
terim node connects, getting you to W2ABC. 
As it progresses through the node system, 
each successful connect results in a CW mes- 
sage and a pop-up screen telling you of the 
progress through the node system. 

You can also set up **quick connects"* with 
these multi-hop '*path'* statements and sinr>- 
ply hit the [F7] connect key* highlight the 
target station, such as *'W2ABC," and the 
program does the rest. 

An iniefesling feature of MET/ROM is that 
you may have multiple connects to a single 
node by using its node alias. If you connect to 
the node using the station callsign, NET/ROM 
allows only a single connect. However, if you 
connect to a node using its alias (e.g. "GR- 
BOX" instead of ■'WA1R-2") NET/ROM will 
allow up to 15 multiple connects using the 
**alias*n." where "n" can be up to 15, Pkt- 
GOLD Multimode understands this, and al- 
lows you to use the same set of NET/ROM 
nodes to establish many sessions. It automati- 
cally assigns unique sessions with the entry 



node by assigning different SSlDs, the num- 
ber after the "alias" name. 

Multiple Features 

Perhaps the neatest thing f found is Pkt- 
GOLO 's ability to implement ail the modes of 
the controller. 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode lakes advantage of 
the ROM thai is already in your controfJer. 
With Pkt-GOLD Multimode. you can use the 
same friendly program features on all of the 
other modes available. If you have a PK-232, 
you can use AMTOR, NAVTEX, RTTY, Morse, 
TDM (Time Domain Multiplexing, a new PK- 
232 mode in which several signals are able to 
use one frequency by digitally shifting ttteir 
timing slightly), packet, and the PK-232's 
patertted SIAM mode. Changing modes is a 
snap. 

Pkt-GOLD Multimode also offers protocol 
file exchanges for error-free transmission of 
any file, while allowing keyboard-to-keyboard 
conversation on the same channel, and of oth» 
er multiple connects, all at the same time. You 
can get remote user directories and, while 
transferring a file* the program shows the re- 
mafning time and the effective baud rate of the 
transmission to other stations requesting fifes. 
It also provides file transfer statistics to these 
other stations, estimating when the file trans- 
fer will be finished. 

For those with PK-88 controllers, Pkt-GOLD 
Multimode offers all ol the powerful features 
thai it does on the PK-232 (for packet mode). 
Briefly, some of the other features are "Brag" 
file support for longer descriptive messages, 
and [Alt-O.J] keys for one-line messages, 
both supporting macros such as *'?callsign'* 
to fill in the other station's callsign, or 
*'?name" to FIH in the remote user name, to 
make messages appear to be personalized. 

Wall Worth the Money 

To say that 1 like this program Is putting it a 
little mildly. 1 tested Pkt-GOLD on my PC clone 
(EGA monitor. e40K of RAM, 80286 CPU, 
hard disk). It also supports VGA and other 
enhanced video display cards. The program 
runs flawlessly at the highest terminal baud 
rates of 9600 for the PK*232 and 19200 baud 
on the PK-68. It has an integrated set-up area, 
accessed with the [Alt-S) key combination. 
This is where you enter quick connects, sta- 
tion information, and set many of the program 
refinements like 25M3/50 line screen mode 
color settings, size of the NetVlew screen, 
pop-up window time, Morse code announce* 
ment speed, file paths, and the like. 

Pkt-GOLD features pop-up displays and 
menus galore. The documentation is clearly 
written and leads you quickly through the fea- 
tures of the program. In addition to the printed 
l>ook, you gat a complete online help system 
that is context-sensitive and hypertext. 

You can learn about operating modes, 
parameter settings, frequencies, even how to 
tune up the controller and radio for maximum 
performance, by perusing this multi-page 
cross-referenced help system* 

Overall if you are looking for a reliable, solid 
system, I would say Pkt*GOLD Multimode is 
more than worth the price, much more than 
worth iti 





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Low Cost Discone Antenna 



Wideband coverage from 144 to 1296 MHz. 



by Phil Salas AD5X 



Injected an antenna that would satisfy a lot 
of needs. After purchasing an ICOM 
R-7000 receiver (25-2000 MHz) for some 
experimental work in the UHF and low mi- 
crowave ham bands, I wanted a good broad- 
band antenna that I could easily mount in my 
attic and thai would provide coverage of the 
144, 220, 450, 903. and 1296 MHz ham 
bands, I also needed this antenna to provide a 
good match ^ that it could be used for trans- 
mitting within these ham bands as well. 
Though this sounds like Vm asking a lot, 
there is a broadband antenna that can satisfy 
these needs: the discone antenna. 

The Discone Antenna 

When properly desigi^, a discone anten- 
na provides decade (10:1) frequency cover- 
age with a good match {see Figure I). The 

discone consists of a disk (the driven element) 
mounted over a conical ground plane. The 
cone is an equilateral triangle whose dimen- 
sions are a quaner wavelength at the lowest 
operating frequency. The disk (driven ele- 
ment) has a diameter of 70^^ of a quaner 
wavelength at the lowest operating frequen- 
cy. The disk should be very close to the apex 
of the cone; the recommended spacing is 
from 10-30% of the diameter of the apex of 
the cone . 

The trick is to be able to easily realize 
the cone and disk as well as provide a solid 
insulated support for the disk and a sound 
mounting method for the overall antenna. 
Also, this antenna should be inexpensive, 
and easily constructed with readily available 




. 




\ y 1 






\ / 








^. ^ 








\ / 








N ,' 








\ ^ 








V *^ 








xm oaiLL ve 




4 1 


/2 










^ s 






m 4 IVZ " —^^ 



Figure 2* Dimensions of the disk support. 





auAMTiA siDt 






^REUOVf 


1 









Figure J. Design for thE discone antenna. 
24 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1901 



Figure 3. Disk si*pport prepnraiian. 

parts from hardware and Radio Shack stores. 

Since I wanted to cover the two meter band, 
I picked the tower frequency limit to be below 
the lower band edge. The actual frequency 1 
picked was 137 MHz. A decade of coverage 
should still give me up to 1370 MHz, which 
suited my needs. The equation for this is; M 
wavelength = 2952/137 = 2L5" = cone 
side; disk diameter = 0.7 x 2 1. 5"* = 15". 

Now all I had to do was %ure out how to 
build it! 

Constructing the Discone 

See the "Parts List/' The last three items 
came from Radio Shack. The ^" solder lugs 
are pan of the package (two per package) of 
solder lugs from Radio Shack, but you can 
save money if you can find %" solder lugs 
separately, i bought all of the other items in 
the electrical department of a local hardware 
store. 

Now, let's get to work. We will first pre- 
pare all the individual pieces. 

The disk support will be made out of the 



single-sided printed circuit board. First, cut 
this board into a 4!^" x 4*/^" square. With a 
pencil, draw diagonal lines from comer to 
corner on one side. See Figure 2. Drill a % '^ 
diameter hole at the intersection of the lines 
(the center of the PC board). Referring to 
Figure 3, center a quaner over the hole on the 
foil side of the PC board and trace around its 
circumference. Using a sharp X-ACTO™ 
knife^ cut through the copper on the circular 
lines just traced. Now remove the copper 
within the circle. A soldering gun will aid in 
removing the copper foil. 

The light fixture canopy needs some modi- 
fication. These kits include a fixture for 
moundng a lamp on, a short length of 1/8IP 
threaded steel lamp pipe, and some additional 
hardware. Refer to Figure 4_ Nibble or cut a 
slot along one side of the canopy at least 0.3" 
jt 0.3". This will pass the coaxial cable when 
the canopy and antenna are mounted. 

Cut all eight welding rods to a length of 
2L5'\ Unless you have heavy cutters, you 
will need to use a hacksaw. Remove any 
insulation from the %" solder lugs, insert 
only one end of the cut welding rods into the 
solder lug crimp end, crimp the lug and sol- 
der. S^ Figure 5. 

Cut Che remaining eight short pieces of 
welding rods to 7 W. Finally, determine the 
center of die 4'' round plastic electrical box 
cover and drill a ^A " hole. It is important that 
this hole be well-centered, so take care in 
determining this location. 

Now lake the 30" l/StP all-thread steel 
lamp pipe and careftjlly tin one end of the 
pipe. Sec Figure 6, Be carefiil not to get 
solder on the threads of the pipe. This pipe is 



CANOPV 



^ 



^— ^— 4i^lta 



-L— 4^->4^^.^.-, 



NIBBLE 



J 



Figure 4. Modifying the light fixture cam^y. 




Figures. Element preparation. 




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73 Amateur Radio Today * August, 1991 25 



30' 


^^^i'lOED STfEL HOQ—i 


rm E&CE oiityp?- 


UJUUJ^UUUUJU^^ 


uuuaj!/ 







Figure & Tinning the pipe. 



gUAWTES SIDE 



c 



PEJMlfY 5I0E 




■J ft04AQ 



iPOwt 



Figure 7. Disk support assembly. 



15 




Tin JB *»LACESJ 




Figure 8. Tinning and soUe ring the lop of the 
PC board, 

not difficult to tin since it is made of steely 
which doesn*l conduct heat away as fast as 
copper or brass does. Cut 1 " of the outer 

insulation ofrihc RG-8M coaxial cable, sepa- 
rate the braid » and theo fold it back over the 
cable insulati€>n. Insert this end of the RG-8M 
cable into the mm-tinned end of the 30'' lump 
pipe and push the cable through until the 
braid is flush with the tinned end of the pipe* 
Solder the braid lo the pipe at this point. 

Next, prepare the disk support primed clr- 
cuii boand. insen a short length of steel lamp 
pipe (provided with the canopy kit) through 
the center hole in the printed circuit board and 
fasten it securely in place with two brass nuts. 
Sec Figure 7. Epoxy the brass nut to the PC 
board opposite the foil side. Be careful not to 
get epoxy on the threads. Now, remove the 
nut from the side of the board not cpoxied. 
and unscrew the steel pipe from the nut still 
attached to the PC board. The side of the PC 
board with the nut will now be referred to as 
the bottom of the disk support PC board. 

On the top of the PC board, tin each cor* 
ner and tin the midpoini of each side. See 
Figure 8^ Now solder down the 7 14 " welding 
rods to the PC board, making sure that the 
total length from outer point to outer point 
is 15" . You are creating a disk 15" in diame- 
ter out of the eight welding rods. Now go 
back and solder the inside edge of the welding 
rods 10 the PC board. Finally, place the \ " 
diameter bras^ washer over the ends of the 
welding rods centered over the hole in the PC 
hoard and solder the washer to (he rods. Sec 
Figure 9. 



Now it's lime to start as- 
sembling the antenna- 
First, screw the end of the 
30" pipe with the RG 8M 
center conductor sticking 
out into the nut on the hot* 
torn of the PC board. Screw 
it in just far enough so the 
end of the pipe is flush with 
the printed circuit side of 
the soldered down nut. The 
center conductor of the RG- 
8M will pass through the 
center of the brass washer 
on the lop of the PC board. 

Next, place the solder 
lugs of the eight long steel 
welding rods over the 30" 
steel pipe and hold them in place with a 1/8IP 
brass nut. Put this nut on finger-tight and then 
arrange each long rod so that it is exactly 
under each short rod on the lop of the PC 
board. Carefully tighten the brass nut. 
Thread another brass nut on the steel pipe and 
position it about 3" below the nut holding the 
long rods in place. Hold the pipe upright with 
the PC board at the upper end, then bend all 



Parts List 




Description Afiproximate Cost 


1*" diameter brass washer 


$ ^10 


30" 1/8IP ail-thread steel lamp pipe 


$3.17 


1 light fixture canopy kit 


$2.45 


6 brass 1/81P nuts (pkg, of 6) 


$ .99 


1 plastic V round electrical box cover 


$ .17 


1 feet n 2 copper wire (S.07/ft.) 


$ .70 


8 copper pialed steel welding rods ($.20 ea.) 


$ 1 .60 


12" X 24 " X 1 '^ piece of wood 


$1.00 


41/fe ' X 4^/^" single-sided PC board 


$3.99 


6 H" solder lugs (RS 64-3040 x 3) 


$3-87 


5 feet RG-8M (RS 278-1328 0.27 x 5) 
Total 


S1.35 


$19,39 



RODS- 



T 



T 



c 



WASHER 



PC B.04fl& 



Z7 



tt!" ±t 3 



NUT 



Figure 9. Finishing the PC board. 



V 



CES*TH» CO'. - ^ 



T 



3 



'tt£LbtRl& HH30S 



■HOT SLUE 




CAlKS^T 



c 



II 



n 



:>i 



Figure 10. Assembling the di scone. 



SOLDER 




the long rtxisdown along the steel pipe. Place 
the plastic electrical outlet cover over the 
steel pipe and thread on another brass nut. 
Push ihc elcctricaJ outlet cover up the pipe 
and spread the long welding rods until the 
bottom ends of the rods are 2 1.5" apart from 
their opposite rod. Adjust the nui positions as 
necessary and tighten the nuts 10 hold the 
clectrica! outlet cover in place. See Figure 
10. I used a hot glue gun to attach the long 
welding rods to the plastic electrical outlet 
cover to help with the anienna rigidity, but 
this is not really necessary. 

Strip the insulation off the RG-8M center 
conductor as ii passes through the brass wash- 
er on the top of the printed circuit board* 
Solder the center conductor to the brass 
washer. Now, mount the antenna 10 the 
canopy by threading another brass nut over 
the end of the steel pipe, passing the cable and 
pipe through the hole in the canopy, and 
threading another nut over the pipe and tight- 
ening it. You can now attach the canopy 10 a 
piece of wood (1 used a T x T x r board) » 
thus allowing the antenna to stand freely* 

The las! thing to do is to solder a piece of 
/(^12 copper wire around the circumference of 
ttie disk and cone. Cut a 50" piece of wire for 
the disk and a 70" piece of wire for the base of 
the cone. Tin the ends of each of the welding 
rods and solder the copper wire to them. Sec 
Figure 1 1 , Though it is not really necessary to 
lie all the welding rod ends together, this and 
the hot glue mentioned earlier make the an- 
tenna very rigid. 

Finally, attach your connector of choice to 
the end of the RG~8M coming from the dis- 
cone, RG-8M has the same dimensions as 
RG-59. A PL-259 UHF connector widi a 
RG-59 neducer or a BNC connector for RG- 
59cable work well. 

Operation 

How does it work? i measured an SWR of 

less than 1.5 to I on all ham bands between 
144 and 12% MHz, I placed the antenna on 
its wood base in my attic and it provides 
excellent general coverage reception, as well 
as transmission in the covered ham bands. 
Not bad for about an hour's worth of work 
and less than S20 worth of partsl 



Figure 1 1 . Wire piacemeni. 



Comaa Phil Salas .4D5X at IS! 7 Creekside 
Drive, Richardson JX 7508L 



26 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



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High Speed Data Acquisition 

Sample the outside world with this inexpensive interface. 



by Mike Gray N8KDD 



Personal computers have made huge im- 
provements in nearly every field, in- 
cluding the scientific and engineering com- 
munities, acquiring and processing data for 
research projects. Hams, too, have made ex- 
tensive use of computers, and many have an 
interest in using them for data acqutsition. 

To do this, all a computer needs is an input 
device and appropriate software. The key- 
board is the most commonly used input 
device. Data taken manually from individual 
instrumcntJi is recorded on paper and entered 
Later. However, keyboards are unacceptably 
slow for most projects, so an instrument such 
as a datalogger or a data-acquisition card is 
used. 

Information stored in a datalogger is usual- 
ly entered into the computer through the seri- 
al port, sometimes by means of a telephone or 
radio modem. Commercial dataloggers are 
too costly for most of us to justify the pur- 
chase of even the least expensive modeL 

A bus-oriented data acquisition card in* 
staiied in a personal computer is a powerful, 
though expensive way to build a digital data 
acquisition system. Most portable computers 
wilt not accept a data acquisition card, so 
work is usually confined to a laboratory using 
a desk computer. 

Many projects need only one channel of 
data, acquired at relatively high speed, and 
this project will satisfy that requirement at 
very low cost. 

Hacker Method 

Another means of getting data into a com- 
puter is through the parallel printer port. This 
port is generally not used for anything but 
driving a primer, but like most things, it can 
be adapted (hacked?) to other uses. Data can 
be transferred much faster in parallel than in 
serial form. 

There are three port addresses at the printer 
connector of IBM-compatible computers. At 
378 (hexadecimal) is the 8-bit data word. 
This address is all that we'll discuss for now* 
Address 378 is LPTl , and most compatibles 
are configured in this manner, LPT2 is ad- 
dress 278 (hex). Some computers may be 
configured such that the data lines appear at 
address^ 3BC (hex); check your manual for 

28 7$ Amateur Fiadfo Today • August, 1991 



4 1 •^ 




Photo A. Inside view of the AD box, 

the proper address for your system. Note that 
the BASIC program will have to modified for 
your computer system's port address if dif- 
ferent than 378 (hex). 

Printer connector pins 2-9 correspond to 
data bits 0-7. Pins 18-25 are grounded. If a 
pin is high, grounding that pin saturates the 
output driver and the logic state changes from 



1 to 0. Comtnunicating over the parallel pon 
in this manner is easy, but it also inverts the 
conversion result* It's a simple matter to fix 
that in the software. 

A-D Converter 

An analog -to-digital (A-D) converter chip 
converts an analog value to its binary equiva- 
lent. The chip requires a reference voltage, 
against which the analog signal is compared. 
In most cases, the reference voltage is 5 volts, 
the same as the supply voltage. 

The Data Bit output lin^ are numbered 
080-087. These lines are connected to pins 
2-9 at the computer printer connector. 

If the analog input voltage is Ecro^ all eight 
lines will be low (0 volts), and the decimal 
value of the 8-bit data word will be zero. If 
the analog input is greater than or equal la the 
reference voltage, all eight lines will be high 
(5 volts), and the decimal value of the 8-bit 
data word will be 255, An 8-bit A-D convert- 
er has a maximum resolution of 256 (0-255 
counts). 

The amount of current required to drive the 
printer port of many computers is greater 




Photo B. Jlie interface hiMfked tip to an IBM PC clone. 




Figure I. Schematic (lia^ram of the interface. 



17:1S:« t8-iS-i! 




Seconds t 27 
2212 Sables per Second 

Figure 2. Unusual muUo wavefonn as sampled hy the interface. 



than the A-D converter 
chip can himdle. %Ci oc- 
ternal drivers arc neces- 
sary. I chose common 
NPN transistors. 

In addition to the data 
bit lines 0-7, two miore 
Lines from the printer 
connector are required. 
These control the A-D 
convener. They are 
found at address 37A 
(LPTl), 27 A {LPT2) or 
3BE on some computers. 
Pin 1 controls when the 
chip performs a write 
(WR). and pin 14 con- 



trols when the chip performs a read (RD), 
Both lines need to be set high initially, then 
WR is pulled low, which stans a conversion. 
After WR is asserted high. RD can be pulled 
low^ and the conversion result will appear at 
the output lines. 

Precaution 

Grounding any of the printer port pins 2-9 
pulls the voltage below the threshold neces- 
sary for the computer lo recogniste a logic T 
The logic levels vary, but all are under 0.8 
volts. Some computers arc capable of driving 
very high loads, which means that the current 
required to pull the pin voltage below the 
logic level threshold could be as high as 60 
mA per pin. 

In testing five different computer brands, I 
have not found even one to be damaged by 
grounding these pins, but the drivers may get 
waim after a while. In order to protect the 
computer from any possible damage, the 
printer port should be held in a high state only 
long enough to read an input from the A-D 
converter. The software will accomplish this. 

Once completed and working, the convert- 
er should not be connected to the computer 
for more than 10 to 20 minutes, unless the 
converter is off, the analog inpu! is zero, or 
the software is running. The .software pro- 
gram allows current to flow only long enough 
to read I he port. 

Construction 

Since the component count is low, ihe cir- 
cuit can be assembled on perfboard, TTie chip 
is static-sensitive, so mount a 20*pin socket to 
the board jnd install the chip only after as- 
sembly is complete and the wiring has been 
checked. 

The sample rate is entirely dependent upon 
the speed at which the computer can toggle 
the WR and RD lines, and interrogate the 
printer port. The operation of this chip is 
described in greater detail in the National 




flD CONVERTER 
BY NSKDD 





lG*"' 



/'"N • PIN 4 



PIN a 



a) 




b) 







ANALoa vtmxr 



Figures (a), PC board foil pattern, (b). Pans placement, 

73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 29 



Semiconiluctor linear Daiabookt Volume 2. 
The AD cojivencr chip may be destroyed 
if more ihan 5. 1 voLis arc apptied to the ii^Htt* 
Rl should be adjusted to divide the input 
vohagc by three, so that there won't be any 
damage unless the input is greater than 15 
volts. The offset and sefisitiviiy potentiome- 
ters allow the iosirument to measure bipolar 
inputs, and to me^^sure low level signals with 
good resolution. If you measure only signals 
between and 5 volts, all diree pots may be 
elimtnatcd. 

Smoke Test 

Make sure the power switch on the con- 
verter is off, then plug the DB-25 connector 
into the printer port on the computer. Load 
BASIC and add the foElowing line to the pro- 
gram listed in the sidebar; 

65 Y^255-Y. 
(Since the NPN transistors cause a bit inver- 
sion, the bits must be inverted again in order 
to get representative data.) Now run the pro- 
gram listed in the sidebar. 

Adjust the offset and sensitivity pots to 
midscaie and turn the power switch on, The 
display will read someihing between and 
255, depending on where the pots are set* 
Turn the offset pot and watch the decimal 
value change. 

Software Suggestions 

The application possibilities are endless, 
and everyone has his own particular reason 
forgetting analog information into his digital 
computer. An experienced Gizmologist should 
be able to build a custom program aromid the 
core program listed in the sidebar. 

You can connea many different trans- 
ducers to your new A-D converter. 1 have used 
these transducers with good results: audio, 
position, displacement, temperature, strain. 

The software you write can convert the raw 
A-D cDUtWs to engineering units for you. If, 
for example, you have a position transducer 
which produces 5 volts when it is TOO percent 
extended, simply divide the variable **Y'* by 
2.55(Y = Y/2,55). 

The computer can make graphs while 
taJting data, although the more you ask the 
computer to do, the slower it gets. If you want 
speed, acquire the data first, then plot it. The 
plot in Figtjres 2 were made with an IBM AT 
using die acquire-thcn-plot technique. The 
transducer was an audio amplifier. If you 
measure some slowly changing physical 
even! such as temperature, program execu* 
tion speed is not of much concern, but an 
accurate time base is. If you would like a copy 
of some general purpose, graphic-oriented 
programs, you can download them free from 
the 73 Mugiizinc BBS at (603) 525^*438 or 
send $6 to me at the address below. Be sure to 
specify whether you would like a 5.25 or 3.5 
inch disk. 

A 9 volt alkaline battery will last about six 
hours in continuous use^ You could use a 
fdiered power stippty or larger battery pack if 
you need longer service. 





Parts List 


1 ADCCWICCN 


A-O convener (pnce fs under ! j 1 0) Pioneer Standard Electronics, 




13485 Stamford, Uvonia Ml 43150 


8 2N2222 


NPN Transistors (metal can preferred) 


8 


Ik ohm resistors, % watt 




^ megohm board mount potentiometer 




10k ohm fixed resistor 




1 Dk ohm panel mount potentlofnetef 




1 megohm panel mount potentiometer 


1 LM7805 


5 volt reguiaior 




SPST panel mount switch 




9 volt battery dip 




10 uF electrolytic capacttof 


1 D825 


Male printer port connector 


1 1Nd14 


Diode 




About 2 feet of 1 1 (or more) conductor cable 


1 276-150 


10 circuit board (Radio Shack) 




20-pin tC socket 


(Most of these compone nts can be pu rch ased at Rad ic S hack . You ma y also be abl6 to order the A-D ch ip at | 


a locaJ Radio Shack.) 




Note: A blank PC board ts available for $4 ^ $1.50 shipping ffom FAR Circuits, 18N640 Field Court, | 


Dujid#$IL60118. 





Cotttaa Mike CmvNSKDD ai 465 W, Maple 
Rd.MUford Mi 48381, 

30 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



Port Experiments 

In the following experiments, 1 used BASIC to control the A-D converter and read the printer port. Any 
other programming language will work, but I like BASIC because it's so easy to use and explain. All of the 
*.EXE files for my applications were written using Borland's Turbo BASIC", and the source code is 
avaitable for those who want to write their own software applications, Tuft>o BASIC mns about eight limes 
faster than BASIC interpretef. 

The tol lowing program reads the bit status at the pf inter port. The monitor displays the <ledmal vaJue and 
tkit status of a byte read from the prmter port. 

BASrC Interpreter (BASICA qr GW-BASlC) 



10OUT&H37A.12 

20OUT&H37A,13 

30GUT&H37A,12 

40OUT&H37A,14 

50OUT&H37&,255 

60Y-INP(&H37e) 

70 PRINT Y.BINSCO 

eOOUT&H37B.O 

90Q$^INKEYS 

100IFQ$ = 'q*ORQ$-*Q-THENEN0 

1 1 FOR D = t to 2000: NEXT 

120 GOT0 10 

Turbo BASIC 
do 

0UtaH37A,l2 
out&H37AJ3 

out&H37Aj4 

out &H378.255 

y = inp{&H378]f 

print y,bin$(y) 

out &H378.0 

q$='inkey$ 

if q$ - "q" Of q$- "Q* then end 

delay .5 

loop 



■WR and RD high 

'WR low 

'WR and RD high 

'RD low 

'latch all bits high 

'input 1 byte (variable ^ 

'print Y (decimal Bn6 binary} 

'lalch aJI bits low 

'keyt)oafd trap 

'if user enters q then quit 

'time delay 



'WB and RD high 
*WBlow 

out &H37A,12 *WR and RD high 

'RDlow 

latch all bits high 

'input 1 byte (variable y) 

'print y (decimaJ and binary) 

'latch all bfts low 

'keyboard trap 

*if user enters q then quit 

'tinve delay 



You should sea 2^ llllllllon your monitor. If not c^ubEe check the program code and run it agam. 
You may need to change the port address from &H37S lo &H3&C. While Itie program ts nmning, connect a 
fum per wire between pm 2S and pin 9. The disp*ay witi now read 1 27 Oil 1 1 1 1 1 . The left-most bit is the most 
significant It has a value of 128, Connect pin 25 to pin 2, The decimal value is now 254. Pin 2 is the feast 
significant bit of the 8-bit word and it has a vatue of t. Try connecting each pin to pin 25, and watch the 
display. You will see this pattern davetop: 



teast significant bit 



Bit 


Pin 


value (bif| 





2 


1 


1 


3 


2 


2 


4 


4 


3 


5 


8 


4 


6 


16 


5 


7 


32 


6 


8 


64 


7 


9 


128 



most significant bit 



,. .ru-J^^^ 





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qiRCLE 247 Oh READER SERVICE CARD 



htumber 8 on your Feedback card 



Software for the 
Ham Shack, Part IV 

Useful ham calculations you can program yourself! 



by Bill Clarke WA4BLC 



This is the fourth, and last, part of this 
series of articles. The Ham System has 
grown to be quite capable of saving time and 
aggravation for the user. 

Let's add the last modulesi to the system. 
This month the MAIN MENU will grow to 
nine choices. Added will be: 

8 - ElESISTOR COLORS TO OHMS 

9 - AIR COIL INDUCTANCE 

McMJule Ki^ht 

Last month « you added module s^ven, 
which gives you the resistor color codes when 
you enter the value of ohms required. This 
month, with module eight, yoti get to do the 
reverse: Enter the color codes and get the 
value in ohms. 

Module Nine 

Have you ever looked in the junk bo3c and 
come up with an air-wound coil of unknown 
value? This last module asks for the physical 
dimensions of the coil, then gives you its value 
in microhenries. No more unknown coils I 

Entering the Listing 

Before you add program lines from this 
month's listing, you must first LOAD 
"HAM3". After it is loaded, LIST it. Then 
you are ready to start typing in the new mate- 
rial. 

After you have completed typing in all the 
Unes, save it under the name HAM4. 

Using the New Program 

LOAD the new program by typing LOAD 
''HAM4'' and pressing ENTER. When the 
computer signals READY on the screen, type 
RUN and press ENTER. 

The next thing you should &^ is the MAIN 
MENU for your new Ham System, It should 
show nine selections: ANTENNA DESIGN 
MATH, TRANSMISSION LINE MATH, 
OHM'S LAW, POWER FORMULAS, EF- 
FICIENCY FORMULA, RADIO HORI- 
ZONS, OHMS TO RESLSTOR COLORS, 
RESISTOR COLORS TO OHMS, and AIR 
COIL INDUCTANCE. 

Clone users, put GWBASIC on a disk and 
add this handy batch file to start your system: 
At the DOS prompt type: 

A> COPY CON HAM4.BAT 

ECHO OFF 

CLS 

GWBASIC HAM4 

(function key F6) 
Press ENTER after each line. 

32 73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 





C-64 Modi ficat ions 




C-64 


- users remember the modifications listed in Part 1 


of this 


series and the following; 




1 Repl 


ace the listed lines as follows: 




310 


INPUT "FIRST BAND COLOR " r P$ 




ail 


INPUT '^SECOND BAND COLOR" ;S$ 




812 


INPUT "THIRD BAND COLOR *VrT$ 




831 


PRINT "THE RESISTOR VALUE IS:" 




832 


PRINT F9S$T$" OHMS" 




910 


INPUT "DIAMETER IN INCHES; ":D 




911 


INPUT "LENGHT IN INCHES; *' ,* L 




912 


INPUT "NUMBER OF TURNS: **7U 




921 


PRINT "INDUCTANCE = "FNAILJ" MICRO HENRYS" 

HAM4 Listing 




21 PRINT SPACE? ( 26 ) -"S - COLOR CODES TO OHMS" 




22 PRINT S£^ACE$(26);"9 - AIR COIL INDUCTANCE" 




39 IF n$ = "8'* THEN 800 




40 IF MS = "9" THEN 900 




800 


CLEAR ; CLS 




801 


PRINT SPACE? (25)? "RESISTOR COLOR CODES" 




802 


PRINT SPACED (20) ?" — _,,^,_ = _'- 




303 


PRINT : PRINT : PRINT 




810 


INPUT "ENTEB THE COLOR OF THE FIRST BAND " j F? 




811 


INPUT "ENTER THE COLOR OF THE SECOND BAND'rS? 




812 


INPUT "ENTER THE COLOR OF THE THIRD BAND "jT? 




B20 


X$ = F$ 




821 


GOSUB B50 




822 


F$ ^ A$ 




823 


X$ = s$ 




824 


GOSUB 850 




825 


S$ ^ A$ 




026 


X$ = T$ 




827 


GOSUB 870 




828 


T$ = A? 




83d 


PRINT J PRINT : PRINT 




831 


PRINT "THE RESISTOR VALUE IS; '*FSS$T$" OHMS*" 




832 


PRIST 




840 


PRINT "N - TRY AGAIN'* 




841 


PRINT "M - MAIN MENU" 




842 


M$ ^ INKEY5 




843 


IF M$ = ^N"" THEN 800 




844 


IF m = "«" THEN 10 




84 S 


GOTO 842 




850 


IF X? = "SLACK" THEN A$ = "0" 




8S1 


IF X5 - "BROWN" THEN A$ = "L" 




852 


IF X$ = "RED*" THEN A$ ^ "2" 




853 


IF X$ - "ORANGE" THEN A$ ^ "3** 




854 


IF XS = ^'YELLOW* THEN A§ - "4'' 




855 


IF 5C$ = ^'GREEN" THEN A? = "5" 




856 


IF X$ = ''BLUE" THEN A$ = *'6'* 




8S7 


IF X$ = "VIOLET^' THEN A$ ^ "7" 




858 


IF X? = ^'GRAY'^ THEN A$ = "B" 




B59 


IF X$ " ''WHITE" THEN A$ ^ "9" 




860 


RETURN 




870 


IF XS - "BLACK" THEN A$ = "" 




871 


IF X$ = "BROWN" THEN A? - "0" 




872 


IF X? = "RED"* THEN A$ = "00" 




873 


IF X$ - "ORANGE" THEN A$ = ",000" 





Comimtrd ij/i pui^e S6 



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02H 



Number 9 on your feedback card 



73 Review 



by Bill Brown WB8ELK 



The TAPR METCON-l Kit 



Add telemetry and control to 
your packet station. 



Tucson Ainateur Packet Radio (TAPR) 

P.O. Box 12925 

Tucson A285732-292S 

Tei (602) 749-9479 

FAX: (602) 749-5536 

Price Class: Main Board, S65; 

V4o^ Conveiler. $25; Temperature Beard, $30. 



How wo jld you like to have the ability to read 
sensors or control circuitiy from a remote 
location via packet radio? Thanks to a new kit 
from the folks at TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet 
Radio}, it's now easy to take fiill advantage of 
advanced packet controL 

Packet Tefemetry 

Tlie METCON-1 kit (TeleMETry CONtrol) is a 
versatile telemetr//controi unit that uses a serial 
port for communications. You can send com* 
mands to the h4ETC0N-1 board via a computer 
serial port, telephone modem or a packet TNC. 

The METCON*! board simply hooks up be* 
tween a packet TNC's serial port and the circuits 
you want to control or sense. 

One of the most otaivious uses lor the METOON-1 
tx}ard woukj be in a remote repeater installation. 
Useful information such as butiding temperature, 
amplifier temperature, backup battery votlage, 
and AC power status can be easily sent back at 
fixed intervals (or upon a connect request). You 
can also use the METCON-1 to turn on transmit- 
ters, lights, amplifiers, antennas, and just about 
anything else that can be activated by a relay. 

The IVIETCON-I board also looks at the status 
of binary inputs. Whenever it delects a change m 
one of these lines it automatically sends out a 
status message. I use this feature as an intruder 
alert in my insiallalion. I hooked up the METOON- 
1 to a micro-switch that closes whenever anyone 
opens the ham shack doorf Since Ihe METCON-1 
has a builinn clock, it actually sends me a times* 
tamp of the event (I know exactly when the door 
was openedf). Not only can the unit detect "On/ 
Off'' transitions on its six inputs, it can measure 
frequency as well (0 to 10 kHz). 

Kit Assembly 

The kit comes compiete with all components as 
well as a high quality doubled-sided PC board. An 
optional voltage-to-frequency interiace board is 
also available. Component 
placement is well-marked and 
silk-screened onto each board to 
make assembly a real breeze. 

Constnjction was quite straight- 
forward and went easily. The as- 
sembly instructions were excel- 
lent, with every step spelled out 
in detail. The checklist format 
helps ensure that you don't miss 





Photo. Th& assembled TAPR METCON- 1 tefemetry and control unit The smaller PC board to the left is 
the optional V-to-F interlace board. 



to take care in assembly. Removing components 
from a double-sided board could be difficult. 

Sockets are provided for all ICs. I particularly 
tike the connectors used for interfacing to the 
outside wortd- You just slide a wire into the hole 
and hofd it in place with a snap lever (no solder* 
ingi). This scheme also makes \X easy to quickly 
change your external wiring (particulafly useful 
when you're at a remote repeater site). 

Installation 

The METC0N*1 board communicates via Its 
serial port, You can use a telephone modem, 
computer serial port, or a packet TNC to send 
CXI m mands and receive data. In a typical packet 
hookup, you just connect the METCON-1 to your 
packet TNC's serial port and hook up the items 
you want to control to any of the six onboard 
relays. The six inputs to the METCON board can 
be used as "On/Off" detectors. These inputs can 
also function as a frequency counter which allows 
use of a voltage-to-frequency interface board. 

The V-to-F Interface 

Through Ihe use of the optional V-!o-F (voltage 
to frequency) board, sensors can be interfaced to 
the METCON- 1. Any device that outputs a 



~A- SUN/91G £24/05^6/00 JUTTO tlM£OUT FOH KtMOftY &ISF1A1 



P6 
OOOO QOOO 

dODO OOGO 



P5 
0000 0000 
0000 OOPO 
0000 0000 



P4 
0000 OQOO 
0000 oooo 
0000 0000 



P2 
00 00 0001 
DO 00 0001 
0000 0001 



0000 0000 
1101 13J.0 
1111 LllI 



7 6543310 

00000 OOOOO ODOOO 00000 00000 00000 00000 01353 FREQ CTHS 



7 
255 



6 5 4 3 2 1 
25S 255 255 255 255 2SS 



255 ADC 



-h- Hmam m&PLht cqhplete 



voltage between to TO volts (when configured 
for low input range) or to 100 volts (high input 
range) can be measured. You can also configure 
the V-to-F board to function as a temperature 
sensor. Each V-to^ tx>ard hooks up to one of the 
input pons of the METCON-l board. You just 
read out the frequency on the main memory map 
output. In the case of voltage^ just divide the fre- 
quency by 10. To get temperature readings you 
must divide by 10 and then subtract 100. 

The voltage-to-frequency scheme has some in- 
triguing advantages over traditional A-to^D 
(analog to digital) converters. Since the voltage 
levei is converted to a frequency directly at the 
source, it doesn't suffer from voHage drops or 
noise when using long wire leads fnsm a sensor. 
The drawback to this method is that it takes a full 
second for each sample {each channel). For most 
applications this is more than sufficient, f-towev- 
er, you can plug an optional ADC (anaiog-io^digit- 
a1 converter) directly into the METCON board if 
you desire. The ADC board is a future option that 
is not currently available. 

Operation 

Commands to Ihe METCON* 1 are performed in 
mdivklually addr^sed bits or bytes. Each area of 

the METCON's memory contain 
specific locations for input and 
output status, frequency counter 
output, system configuration 
and AyD conversions. You can 
display a memory location, write 
to it Of reset it. All commands are 
preceded by an " =" sign and a 
METCON station address (in 
case you have more than one 



OUT (OB 07 Oe 05 04) 
IN JOD OC OB OA 09) 
CHG £13 il 10 OF OEJ 



a step or component. Since this Figure 1. The METCON-1 memory m^ cart tye sent out every 15 minutes (or every METCON board in your sys- 

is a dou&le-sided board with plat- minute) for teslirtg, Output port P2 shows that relay is activated, input port PO shows a tem— The def aul t add r ess is 

ed through-holes, it's important dosed circuit on input Sand the frequency counter indicates a temperature of 25,3''C. "A'*). 

34 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



I 




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METCON-1 KIT Cbfienij»edfrompa^34 

Foe example: The memofy a<!dress for the six 
relay outputs is location number 05, To lum on 
relay 1, you send the command ''-ASOSO". The 
"S" is the set command, the '*05" is the memory 
address, and the "0" is the relay number. To turn 
off the relay, you jus! need to send the clear com* 
nfiand: " =AC050". If you want to look ai the mem- 
ory location, the command is " =AD050" ("D" for 
display). That*s feally all there is to it. If you want 
to turn on or off several relays, you can send a 
byte write command that sets all of the control bits 
in one operation. Example: "=AVVY050F" turns 
on relays 0,1,2 and 3 simultaneously, since the 
"OF" address sets the tower 4 bits "On". 

For repealer or remote base control, the pass- 
word feature adds a level of security. You can set 
up certain portions of memory as restricted. In 
this mode, you need to logon to the METCON-1 
with a password in order to perform control opera- 
tions. 

Impressions 

I have the METCON^I installed in the W2NSD/1 
hamshack. It's hooked up to a 10 meter CW bea- 
con iransmitler, a low-power 2m FM transmitter, 
an ATV transmitter, aTV camera, arKJ lights. When- 
ever I want a signal source on ATV, 10 or 2 me- 
ters, I just connect up on packet and have a blast 
turning the equipment on and off remotely, t use 
the inputs to measure the shack temperature as 



well as to indicate when the shack door is opened. 

Sure, I coiild've done part of this with a touch- 
tor^e decoder, but the METCON-1 system allows 
me to control things error-free, as well as provide 
realtime telemetry. 

The review unit was the preliminary version of 
METCON-1 (Alpha Test). I found the assembly 
instructions to be very complete and easy to fol- 
iow. For those otyou with the preliminary manual, 
you may have to dig around a bit to understand 
how all of ihe commands work, however. Once 
you figure out how the memory addresses are 
configured, you'll be well on your way to con- 
trolling things. 

To some extent, you do have to decipher the 
values presented to you in the memory map. The 
METCON'I board won't come right out and tetl 
you "The Temperature is:** or "Battery voltage 
= . " Once you have figured out the memory map, 
you can easily read your system^s status. 

For those hardware and software hackers out 
there, there is room to add a substantial amount 
of I/O capability to this system. There is provision 
for a fast upload and download of the system 
memory. Vou could write a program to display 
this information in graphics fomi for a really spec- 
tacular display in an easy-io-read format. 

The METCON-1 system is a powerful and eco- 
nomical tool for anyone considering remote con- 
trol applications. You'll probabty wonder how you 
got along without it! 



Hani.shuck Software 



Continued frifm page S2 



874 


IF X$ = "YELLOW" THEN A$ = "0,000" 




875 


IF X$ ^ "GREEN^* THEK A$ = "00,000** 




876 


IF X$ « **BLUE" THEN A? =^ ",000, 000" 




877 


IF X$ = "VIOLET'' THEN A$ ^ "0,000,000'* 




878 


RETURN 




900 


CLEAR : CLS 




901 


PRINT SPACE? (26) ; "AIR COIL iNDUCTA^fCE" 




902 
903 


PRTMT CPnr'PS f '3CT 'S - " ^^^-=>™— ««_ 


, ^ ♦! 


PRINT ; PRim : PRINT 




910 


INPUT "ENTER THE COIL DIAMETER IN INCIiES: 


*'7D 


911 


INPUT "ESTER THE COIL LENGTH IN INCHES: 


";t- 


912 


INPUT "ENTER THE NUMBER OF TURNS OF COIL; 


'■;N 


915 


h = Cd*d)*(n*n) 




916 


B = C18*D}+(40*L) 




917 


L - A/B 




913 


GOSUB 390 




920 


PRINT 




921 


PRINT "THE INDUCTANCE ISs '*FNA(L)" MICRO 


HENRYS" 


930 


PRINT 




931 


PRINT '^N - TRY AGAIN" 




932 


PRINT "M - MAIN MENU" 




933 


M$ = INKEY$ 




934 


IF M$ = "N" THEN 900 




9 35 


IF M$ = "H" THEN 10 




936 


GOTO 933 





ClltCl£ 1 53 ON READER SE19V)C£ CARD 

36 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



When you want to use HAM4, just place 
the disk into the drive and type "HAM4", 
then presi* ENTER. GWBASIC will execute, 
and HAM4 will load and tun. The bottom 
light bar will be extinguished, leaving a very 
professional appearing menu. 

Comments 

The systerri has grown over the past few 
months. I sincerely hope you find it as useful 
as I found it fun to write. If you would like 
for the systetii to grow more, write me* I 
would consider doing an update from time to 
time. 



For readers not wishing to type in the many 
lines of program code that have appeared 
in thi*i series, I will make copies. The cost is 
$5. which includes the disk, copying, and 
shipping. SPECIFY CLONE OR C-64. 
Write to me at the address below. Also, each 
module as well as the complete program can 
be downloaded from the 73 BBS at (603) 
525-4438. Look for the listings under the 
73niag SIC, 



You may write Bill Clarke WA4BLCat RDfiZ 
Box 455- A, Ahamom NY 12009. Please en- 
close an SASE/ora reply. 




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Universal CAT Interface 

Control your rig with your computer! 

by Art Harding K5YEF 



Miiny of us got excited in the early '80s 
when microprocessor radios appeared 
on ihc market. This heralded the beginning of 
the patching logeihcr— **inierfacing"— of 
personal compuiers and amateur radio equip- 
mem. This offered the promise of menu- 
driven radio operation, vastly increased and 
enhanced memory, complete rig status dis- 
play on the computer monitor— and the imag- 
ination went wild. 

But there is a hilgh— many computers and 
microprocessor rigs can't * *talk* * to each oth- 
er directly. Most rigs want to converse with 
Tran&islor-Transisior Logic (TTL) bit trans- 
fer levels bctw^n and + 5 volts . but most of 
our computers demand that the digital dia* 
logue go along RS-232C levels, which are 
from —12 to +12 volts* Commercial inter- 
face units mean more bucks, and, wclL some- 
day maybe we'll get around to creating one. 
And so for many of us, the rig and the com- 
puter remained separate. [Ed. Note: Many 
motiem rigs have a computer control port. 
They are known as Computer Accessed 
Transceivers (CAT)/, 

Birth or The Project 

For me, **someday*' finally came. After 
operating Yaesu's FT-980 HF radio for sev- 
eral years, the itch for CPU control got too 
strong, and I set forth to design and build the 
interface. 

What follows is a solution, not just for the 
IBNI and FT-980, but for any computer with 
an RS-232 serial pon and a CPU radio with a 
TTL port. You can keep it simple on a bread- 
board or you can build up a permanent black 
box for full-time operation. 

Digital Transfer 

Figure la shows a random RS-232 wave- 
fonrt coming from a computer's serial port. 
The waveform n^ds to be convened to TTL 
levels far the radio. Note that the signal is 
inverted at the TTL port from whence it 
came. It could have been left in phase, and the 
software signals programmed to make Ts 
into O's and vice versa. But this step can be 
eliminated by the hardware, and that's the 
course I took, preferring to keep the software 
simple. 

In Figure lb, the reverse takes place. Many 
radios send back command echoes, confir- 
mation and status signals, for the computer to 
process. Again, an inverting action is desir- 
able. 

Refer to Figure 2, a portion of the FT-980 
schematic for the CPU section. Note that any 
interface circuit must deliver its output data 

38 73 Amateur Radio Today * August, 1901 




Photo A. Vie components were mounted on 
an Kxperimenters Socket which fits neatly 
into a case available from Radio Shack (no 
soldering!). 




Photo B. TlieCAWSO program display. Tliis 
full-featured program is available from the 
author as shareware (see the Parts List for 
details). 

stream into a load of at least 165 ohms (330/ 
2)1 However, the serial data stream out of the 
radio is a stiff NPN switch, a nice signal to 
work with< 

1 could not get my hands on all micropro- 
cessor-controlled radios, of course, but on- 



the-air surveys indicated that the FT-980 ra- 
dio is a gootl test bed for circuit development 
for other CPU radios on today's market. So, 
even if you're not dealing with this specific 
configuration, it*s worth it to read on! 

A Simple Interface Circuit 

The result is the circuit shown in Figure 3, 
An old friend, U 1 , an LM324 quad op amp, 
does the job with two of its amps still unused. 
U la acts as an inverting, saturating differen- 
tial voltage comparator with a Schmitt trigger 
personality » and Ulb docs the same thing in 
the reverse direction. 

They are not identical circuits, however. 
Ulb drives the TTL input to the radio, the 
low 165 ohm load mentioned above. The idea 
is to only draw serious p^)wer when the nega- 
tive going or **ground** level pulses occur. 
As the RS-232 pulse from the computer goes 
positive on pin 2 of the input connector, the 
output is driven negative through R7 and D2, 
D3 clamps the pulse so that it just stays above 
groiuul level, yet low enough to be read as a 
zero TTL signaL Uic negative input pulses, 
or static state (no commands being sent to the 
radioK draw minimum current from the pow- 
er source, 

Ula doesn't have quite the demand on it to 
perform its function of converting TTL sig- 
nals from the radio to the computer. Rl was 
originally 1 8k during software development, 
and that value seems to work fme for IBM and 
compatibles. When 1 used a laptop, t found 
more drive was needed. 1 settled on a value of 
33k, which has worked with all computers 
used to date. 

Figure 3 shows you all that you will need to 
breadboard a no-frills interface in order to try 
some of your programming ideas. You can 
easily put it all on a Radio Shack Experi- 
menter Socket (RS 276-175), and use cable 
ties to hold down the iniercomiccting cables 
to the breadboard. {Ed. Note: The Radio 
Shack prototype board is an excellent way to 
quickly build circuits without any soldering. J 
I used this circuit for eight months during 



COMPUTER 



•V 



-rFuq 



--r- 1=^ 



I1S2S2 

TO TTc 



TTL 
51CMALS 



[^..n_n o.. 



B 0-- 
~v 



n 



<^ 



TTL TO 

INVERTER 



C^ 



.-n_n o. 







Figure L Interface signal path. 



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PTfiO 



Figure 2. FT-9SQ CAT rypical port circuit 
(pan of the radio), 

sofh^^are development, with a power source 
of two 9 V batteries, which I switched in and 
out as needed. 

A Deluxe Interface 

When ihe last line of ctxle was written 
(though we who write code know that no such 
time ever conies!) and a couple of operating 
months went by, I wanted a permanent black 
box with only one batter>^ to mess with. Or 
maybe no battery at alU Figure 4 shows the 
results. Id the final vei^ion, I added a number 
of refinements, which we'll examine, 

[t seemed most desirable to have a visual 
handle on the operation of the interface, some 
lights diat showed what was going on. When 
writing software and dealing with a computer 
pon, the nagging question often is: Did that 
command go out the port like it was supposed 
to? By replacing D2 in Figure 3 with an LED, 
not only is this question put to rest, but the 
same LED also signals the transition of the 
command to a TTL leveL When serial posi- 
tive-going pylses output the computer port, 
D2 will light up as UIB^ making the signal 
ncgaii ve - g r ou n d g o i ng , 

The addition of RIO and LED 04 serves 
the same function for inputs to the computer 
after TTL to RS-232 transition. A new diode^ 
D5, blocks negative RS-232 levels from the 
computer, yet passes the aU-miportant posi- 
tive-going levels. 

I have add^ a new circuit consisting of Q 1 , 
D6, D7. R5, and R9, to control a radio key 
line with a computer. I chose the RTS line in 
the computer port to key the radio. A positive 
signal on this line satumtcs Ql and grounds 
pin 4 of the 6-pin DIN radio connector that 
keys the rig. Note that D6 is also an LED, so 
the operator has a visual on-lhc-air Light. This 
is optional, but the odds are you Ye also going 
to want to key your radio from the keyboard. 
You may wish to omit this portion of the 
interface if you plan to key tl^ radio as you 
normally do, such as for VOX operation. 

The last enhancement, shown in Figure 4, 
is a negative voltage supply for the interface, 
so that you need only one battery or positive 



Tabl0 1 


, 6-Pin 


Signal Assignments 


6-Pin 
1 


Din 


Signal 1 
GND 


2 
3 

4 




1 1 L Signal tfom radio 
TTL signal to radio 
Key line 



40 7$ Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



commctxm 



4 






4- 






TO Atty 
















1 



TTL SIGNfttS 



4 OUT 



ALL DIODES IN9i4 



,03 



Figure 3, Simpie CATtmerface. 




Figure 4. A deluxe CA T interface. 



•~ m 



^ 



P* J* {CMC'S 



1° 



put 27 



I 



Q.I 






X 

I 



*J¥ 



OJ 



•itiiEt e 



ol 






16 V 



■^F 



\Qfi.F 
l€V 



Tie 



16V 



^ 



M*Mt*C Ml 






V- 



Ul 



T£OUT 



'E5 



cnq 



Tl 0<JT 
Hi IN 

HI OUT 

n m 

T2 m 
n OUT 



iB 



» 



m 






14 



II 



12 



■NC 



11 



10 



tN 



9 tTl out 



A ®ooooo6ooo6(i)0 ,-, 

° \ ©OOOOO OOOOOQ 1^ 



tFEMAI^I 



err cmtl 
te nil Dii«> 




Figure 5. An alternative interface circuit that simplifies the circuitry. Thanks to M.G.D, 
Vermeulen ZSIHQfor ihis design. 



supply voltage. This siniple circuit has been 
arouiKl in various forms over the years . U2 , a 
555 liiner, oscillates around I to 2 kHz at the 
output of pin 3 on the chip. The network 
consisting of D8, D9 C3« and C4 con^iprises a 
fiiU-wave rectifier circuit to take the place of 
an external negative supply. You may wish to 
eliminate the battery and use a 9 V supply, 
perhaps by bringing in a +9 V to + 12 V line 
from the radio itself. 

An on/off switch completes the interface. It 
seemed wise to use one section of the switch 
to di^onnect the key line from the interface 
when it was not in use. If you do bring in the 
power from the radio, you may wish to elimi- 
nate the power switch. 



Construction of the Interface 

The parts list contains the few components 
you will need to get the simple or permanent 
interface operational. Both of them use the 
Radio Shack Experimenter Socket, which fits 
snugly down into the Radio Shack Deluxe 
Project Case. 

Well* Lt almost fits. It's certainly tight 
enough; no hardware is required to keep it in 
place. I chose to view this as a blessing, not an 
* *Oh nof *' If you wish, you can easily drill the 
plastic case to mount the LEDs and the power 
switch, I used the faithful nibbler tool to eat 
out a three-sided hole in the back panel to 
mount the RS-232 male connector. TTie cable 
from the radio was brought in through a back 



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42 73 Amateur Radio Today * August, 1991 





Table 2. Parts LIflt - D«1ui& Interface 




Part 


Description 


Part Numb«r 


D1.D3.D5.D7J)8^ 


1Ngi4 diodes 


RS 276- 1122 


Q1 


2N2222{or2N3904) HPH transistor 




U1 


iM324 


RS 276-1711 


U2 


565 timer IC 


RS 276^723 


SI 


DPDT switch 


RS 27E-S36 


D2.D4.D6 


i£D 


RS 276*1622 


R1 


3.3k, y^W resistor 




R2.R3.R6,RS,R9 


100k 




R4 


10ii 




R5 


1^ 




R7 


47 ohm " 




R10 


1k 




R1I 


4.7R 




R12 


6ak 




R13 


??k 




C1.C2 


0.01 ^F, 1 5V ceramic capacitor 




C3,C4 


80 [\f, 1 5V electrolytic (or substfute 100 \if. 36V 


,RS 272-1016) 


Packaging 






1 


Experimenter socket 


RS 276-1 75 


1 


Deluxe project case 


RS 270-221 


1 


6-pin din connector' 


RS 274-021 


1 


D6'25 Subminiature female connector 


RS 276^1429 


*For FT-980 only. Use radio cCH^nector shown in your manual. 




AlteiTiative tnterfece (see 


Rgure S.) 




Qty. 


Oftscription 


Part Number 


1 


MAX232 (or ICL232) 


Digi^Key ICL232 


1 


7B05 w^oEtage regutator 




3 


10 jiF, 16V elecirolylic (or tantalum) capacitor 




2 


4.7 [iF, 1 0V electrolytic (of iai\ialum) capacitor 




2 


01 pF ceramic capacitor 




1 


Dfl*25 femate connector 


RS 276- 1429 


1 


S*pm DIN connector 


RS 27*021 


1 


2B'pin accessory jack for FT*9eO 


Yaesu 


CAT980 * Share%*are for IBM & FT-980 




300 New Memories 


Three ScannefS 




Uses Your Menus 


Analog Dials 




Dual Local/Zulu Clock 


Displays Filter Bandpass 




Status Info Displays 


Easy Split Operation 




Software Key tine 


Instant WVW Key and Return 





An EXE program in PASCAL, available on CompuServe, or send S5.00 (S20 for full registration) to Art 
Harding K5YEF, P.O. BOX 861 71 9, Piano TX 75074. Specify 5V4 " or 3W disk. 

NOTE: Tlie GW-BASIC program CAT_SEED sbown in this article (Figure 5) is inciuded on this disk. The 
CAT_SEED program Is also available from the 73 BBS under the 73MAG SIG at (603) 525-4438. 



panel hole and held in place on the circuit side 
with a cable tie* 

I found a couple of small capacitors al a 
street sale to use as C3 and C4. Radio Shack 
equivalents are listed in the parts list, but 1 
suspect iheir physical size will not be as 
pleasing to the eye. That's why they make 
tops 10 the boxes. 

When all was said and done, there was still 
room on the back panel to mount a 9 V battery 
with a rubber band passing through two small 
holes, then lied off. 

The 6'pin DIN connector at the end of the 
cable is shown for operation of an FT-980 
only. You may be talking to another radio, so 
you will have other pin connections and con- 
nector. Check your manual and use Table I lo 
wire your configuration, The RS-232 con- 
nections are the same for all computers, even 
non-IBMs. Check your serial port manual to 
make sure this isn't a lie! 

Operation 

Operation is straightforward. Except for 
the on/off power switch, it can be unattended. 
As your program commands the radio, LED 
D2 will follow the activity. If your radio 
responds with echo or status information, as 



does the FT-980, LED D4 will likewise fol- 
low the TTL to RS-232 response. LED D6 
lights when the radio is keyed either by the 
computer or by the radio itself. 

Most radios r^uire a 4800 baud rate for 
computer-to-radio communication. Since 
we're dealing with a saturated amplifier con- 
figuration, the baud rate is of no consequence 
if it stays within reason. ** Reason/" of 
course, is some high baud rate where the 
circuit frequency response can no longer 
keep up wiih the transistion time. I don't 
know of any radio presendy available which 
should cause concern. 

One final note about operating: RFL When 
you look at the schematics, you can see that I 
used no bypass capacitors. You may wish to 
include 0.001 |iF caps across all input and 
output lines. That*s fine, but there *s a bener 
solution to computer-generated RFI: toriod 
traps, like Radio Shack^s toroid choke RS 
273-104, or those offered by MFJ and other 
manufacturers. No installation is complete at 
K5YEF without one of these somewhere in 
the line of the new gadget. I did a four-fum 
choke using one of these between the inter- 
face and the FT-980 without any noticeable 
increase in birdies when it*s on line. 



Testing the Interface 

Testing is done with the interface not con* 
nected lo the computer or the radio, but with 
the interface battery installed. Use a second 9 
V battery to connect the negative termina] to 
pin 7 of the RS-232 interface connector 
(ground). Be sure to use a 10k resistor in 
series with the testing baner>' in the following 
steps! 

Turn the interface on and touch pin 2 of the 
RS*232 interface connector. LED D2 should 
light* If you've included the key line circuit, 
then touch pin 4. and LED D6 should light. 

Now disconnect the test battery; you're 
through with it. Run a wire to pin 7 of the 
RS-232 interface connector, and short it to 
pin 2 on the 6-pln DIN connector. LED D4 
should light. Be sure to see Table 1 if you are 
not using a 6*pin DIN for an FT -980 for this 
test point. 

That's it, you're ready. Turn off the inter* 
face and put it in line between your radio and 
computer. 

An Alternative 

Most of the pans for the simple and deluxe 
versions of the interface are available from 
your neighborhood Radio Shack store. How* 
ever, if you can obtain a MAX232 IC* a 
smaller version of the CAT interface can be 
built. M.G.D. Vermeulen ZSIHQ came up 
with this design which also takes power di- 
rectly from the FT-980 accessory socket (no 
battery needed). If you have difficult> fmdtng 
the M AX232, you can replace it with a Harris 
ICL232. The 1CL232 is available from Digi- 
Key. PvO. Box 677, Thief River Falls MN 
56701-0677. Phone (800) 344^539. See 
Figure 5 for this circuit. 

Just thcBeuinning 

This project ts not an end unto Itself; it is 
really the beginning. The CAT interface is a 
door to all the control ideas you have running 
around inside your head when you bought 
your radio. It's simple to build, and you can 
begin experimenting with software (don't let 
anybody tell you it can't be done in BASIC — 
they haven't proven that to me yet!). Spread 
spectrum, maybe? 

Design Yotir Own CAT Program 

After you do the simple hardware tests on 
the Universal CAT Interface, you'll be itch- 
ing to ir>' your system in the CAT m(xle. 
Presented here isa GW-BASIC (Version 3.2) 
program which 1 believe you can use to adapt 
to any CAT equipped radio. "Those are big 
words, stranger.*' i know, I know. The big 
problem is a lack of a CAT standard. If there 
are two radios with the exaci same I/O com- 
mand set I am unaware of them! I would urge 
the radio industry to gel together and agree on 
a standard command set for CAT control . But 
you have to start somewhere and f would like 
to plant this program which I have put into the 
Public Domain into your schedule and let you 
run with it. 

It's not going to be easy, but it is relatively 
simple. You II understand what I mean if 
you'll commit to the attempt, and if you wilt 



just maintain an I-CAN-DO-IT anitude, take 
your time and keep trying, you will eventual- 
ly get the desired results. And I can't describe 
what a great feeling h is to see the radio 
respond to your keyboard. 

You luclq^ FT-980 owners can use the pro- 
gram as is. It will come up and capture the 
radio and display all 148 status bytes from the 
radio. It will settle on 20 meters, USB* 
14.250.000, picked because that is the exam- 
ple in the YAESU manual. Hit < ENTER > 
and the radio switches to AM and WWV on 
iO MHz. Hit <ENTER> again and the ra- 
dio switches to 10 meter FM and begins a 
frequency scan from 29.500 to 29.690 ad 
infmitum. You can interrupt the scan or re- 
sume ii by hitting any key at any time. The 
screen displays the frequency too. <F1> 
exits the program at any point you desire. 

The one quirk 980 owners will discover is 
thai it will require two tries to capture the 
radio the first lime. Run the program and 
after a few seconds do a Ctrl-Break, Then run 
it again. From then on (unless you mrn the 
radio offj it will run on the first try. Sure, you 
can add a fix* I had to add one to my Pascal 
version, but it is beyond the scope of this 
exercise. 

OK, so ^^'hai if vou own a radio other than 
the FT '980? This program will be a good 
solid starting point. Oh yes^ it will require 
some knowledge of BASIC, patience and 
saidy, but the trek will be worth it. The pro- 
gram has the two main ingredients necessary 
for CAT activity: a way to output commands 
and a way to capture data from the radio. 

First smdy your manual and become fanul- 
iar with the sequencing of events that your 
radio requires. The FT-980* for example, 
requires the following: 

1 . Send a command to the radio. 

2. Receive an echo of the command from 
the radio. 

3. Have your software compare the com- 
mand against the echo, if they are the same, 
then perform the next step, #4. If not, then 
start over again at step ffl . 

4. Send OK-TO-EXECUTE command to 
the radio. 

5. Receive a status stream from the radio to 
update the changes it just made. 

WOWf Well the fact is the FT-980 is one of 
the more complicated CAT radios ever put on 
the market. (I give that a plus, not a minus*) 
Unlike ihe sequence listed above^ your radio 
may only need to receive a command to 
change mode or frequency . It may or may not 
**talk'^ back to your computer ai all . So at this 
point we can begin to trim down the 

CAT SEED program to customize it to 

your radio. In the following steps when 
you're advised to **eliminaie the following 
lines'' you might wish to simply REMark 
them out^ust in case. 

Tailor the Program 

For Your Particular Radio 

1 , Eliminate line 2030; it surely just applies 
to the FT-980. 

2. If your radio isn't captured during a 
CAT session, that is, if il only responds to 
commands but the front panel controls re- 



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44 73 Amateur Radio Tod^y • August, 1991 



10 

15 

16 
17 

le 

19 
20 
21 
22 
22 
24 
25 

27 

so 

50 
10 
3D 
90 
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* PUBLIC DO MAtK CAT SEED PROGRAM 



I* 



Thiis program may be freely distributed and exchanged < It tuaiy * 
be rewritten r Pio4lfied, changed and/ or expanded » Indeed you * 
are encouraged to do eo to make it work with your particular * 
radio* You need not even give this author any credit. While * 
this program is originally intended for the YAESi;(tHi) FT-9ao * 
transceiver, a careful approach and rewrite should ii;a:ke it a * 
&^&i for the develQppe?it of most other haa radios on the * 
market* One request: share your ideas with others. This ifl an * 
still an exciting frontier of ham radio. On with it! * 
(Prograa prepared at the suggestion of 7 3 Magazine) * 
Art Harding K5VEF, PO Box 1719, Piano, Tx 75074 * 
Full featured FT-9aO EXE program available frosn above address * 
* n****t*itikit mm* ******** ****** if*ii ********** If******** **1iit**** ********* 

GOSUB 9Q00 *Eet up your computer covi port 
GOEUB 1000 'INITIALIZATION 
GOSUB 2 00 'Begin CAT action 
■Release radio and shut down COM port 
CH&$=ONO FFS : GOSCB 6000 

piii}rr#i,0KSf 



(ft 



released - C^m 1 HOW CLOSED -I^rograa eooplete.. 



5) Choose freq 
bytes expected 



110 CLOSE fl 

120 PRTltTr FEINT; PSilKT'' Radio 

1^0 EUD 

1000 *• INmALIZATIOH 

1010 OPTION BASE 1 

1020 DIH ECH0Sf5) 'Echo is saine length as a command, 5 bytes 

1030 DIM STATUS1(14S) *The FT-9iO coitiplete stratus straam, 149 bytes 

1040 CHD3=^' " 'This cotild have been a DIM CMD$(5) , but this worXs too., 

lOeO OK$~CHB$(01+CJm§(Dj4GHR${0>+CHH$(O)+CHB5f&HB) 'OK to execute CMD 

1070 ONOFF5-CHRS[0)+CHRS(0)+CHES[0J+CIfflS(0)+CHH$(Q) ' ON-OFF CMD 

lOaO ALLSTATUSS-CKR${0)+CHRS(Oj*CHItSfO)+CHHS(0J+CHR5ffiHl} 'Statue ALL CHO 

108S Tt}fERl~40QO • Change if tirouble witJi raceiving status inputs 

lOtO TIHE3^-1000 * Change for hang tise b«tti«ein 10 voter TH fregs 

1100 GEN$=CHR$[iH21)! |JAH5=CimS<tH22) ' 'Chcaose GENeral or HAK vfo 

1110 i^SB5-amSCiHllj ; AKWS=cm?S{iHl^}: FMS-CHRS(tH17> *Soae ftodes choices 

1120 MR?=CHRS(tHiE) I VFO^-cHH^ t tHiF) ♦M^Mory or VFO Choice 

1130 R£Tt?fUI 

2000 ♦* MAIN PROCESSING 

2010 U) capture radio 2) Choose VFO 3) Choose HAM/VFO ^jchoosa USB 

2020 CMDS=ONOFFSi R=14a! GOSUS 5D10 ' tt is the number of status 

2 030 IF STATUS I (27 )=1 THEN PRINT "Radio Is Captured 1" ELSE 2 0iP 

2040 CHOICES-VFOS; R=22j GOSUB 5000 

2O50 CHOICE$-HAH$: K-22; GOStJB 5000 

20€<> CHOIt^ES-USBS; R=22: GOSUB 5000 

2070 *The next line changes the fr«guency. You can *read" 142500 reading 

20B0 *fraa the next to last byte, right to left. 

2090 afDS-CHJlS{0)+CHHSfiH50)+CI|BS(4H42)'H2HaS(l)+CHR$(ttte) : R-Sf GOSUB 5010 

2100 aiDS^ALLSTATUSS:R-14S: GOSUB 5010 'Taelt radio for a complete status 

2110 GOStlB 9100 

3000 PRINT: PRINT: PRINT >'Hit any key to switch to wwv on 10 KHz fFl=quit) " 

3010 GOSUB 9 999 'Hang around for noxt key hit 

3020 GOSUB 9200 

3030 GOSUB 9100! 

3040 PRINT" Compare the 2 status displays now on th* screen. Notice the changes," 

4000 PRINT; PRlNT"Hit any Itey to scan 10 ^eter FM frequencies,,. [Fl to quit}** 

4010 <rOSUS 9999 

4020 GOSDB 9500 

40S0 IlETCmK 

5000 GMDS=CHRS ( } ^CHR$ ( J *CHR$ (0) *CfiOICES*CHR$ (£HA) 

5010 * OUTPUT COMMAND - GET ECHO - COMPARE/ CONFIRM - GET STATUS 

502 Gosii*B 60 » output Command, Set ECHO 

5030 GOSUB 7000 'OK 

5040 GOSUB 8000 'Get status 

5 050 RETURN 

6000 ** OOTPUT COMMAND AND GET ECHO 

6010 '* 

6020 N«0 

£030 COItCl} OFF 

6040 PHIKTil.OIBS; -ALL CAT radios ^111 need to do thisi 

6050 N**H+1S IT (EOF{l) AND K<TIMER13 THEW 60S0 'Halt for input but not forever! 

6060 REM IF K>*TrMERl TKEK 7100 'Oh oh, no COM action vas detected, try again* 

6070 WHILE NOT EOF(l) : ECHO?=INFUT$ f 5, f 1) : IF LOC{1)«0 THEN 60SO:WEm} 

60S0 IF ECH0S-CK05 THEN RETURN: ELSE fRINT^Echo received does WOT match command! 

^trying again]": goto 6020 

'* send OK to 930 

COMfl) ON * Prepare Event Trap for expected Incoming status stream 

PIlXNT#l,OK&; 'The FT-9eo OK CMD - ok to execute last command sent 

RETURN 

'*G6t Status 

IF EOFCl) THEN SOlO 

FOR S-1 TO 4000 J ir 11=1 TREK S030: NEXT 'Ttfittle thumbs loop wttile 

C0H{1) OFF 'No more input expected at t:his time 

RETURN 

*Set up Co» Ports, event trap and Fl key trap 

*If you get port errors then increase C&la to CSIOO if you have a fast 

'computer. For slow coiiputers (10 MHz down) elintinate CS parameter - 

'i.e*, juet CS with no value* These changes are made on line 9 010. 

OJ*EN '*COMl:4BOO,N,B,2,RS,CS10,DSa,BIN" FOR RANDOM AS #1 

REM FOR s«l TO 200Qs NEXT 'Allow tiae for port to settle down???? 

ON OOK(l) GOSUB 10000 

COM(l) ON 

GQSU0 ao VFl ksy vill release radio, clos« port and quit 



7 00 
7010 
7020 
7030 
BOOO 
a 010 
SOlO 

eo3o 

B040 
9000 
9005 
9006 
9007 
9010 
9020 
9030 
904 
9050 
9060 
9070 
910D 
9110 
9120 
9130 
9140 
9150 
9200 
9110 



trAw^inq 



ON KEY (IJ 

KEy (1} OM 

RETURN 

'Print all status bytes on screen in Hex... 

PRINT; PRINT "STATUS Input in H«x (Cofflpare vith your manual) 

FOR S=l TO 148: PRINT " "HEXS f STATUSI (S) J ? ^ NEXT S 

PRINT: PRINT: PRINT'' Bytes 2 thru 5 above yield Frequency: "? 

FOR S-2 TO 5: PRINT HEX$ f STATUS* (sn ?: WEXT S 

RETURN 

'SWITCH TO GENERAL VFO| AM AND WWV ON 10 MHz 

CBOlCESaGEKS: R»22: GOSUB 5000 



Usiing continues 



Figure d A universal CAT interface program fCAT^_SEED) for IBM compaiibles (writien in 
GW-BASIC). Viis progrofft is available from the author (see the Parts List} or can be 

downloaded from the 73 BBS under the 73MAG SIG at (603} 325-4438. 



Listing continued 

9 22 CK0ICE5^AHW$: R=22: GO&UB SO 00 

9230 CKD§-CHRS(0)+CHR$(O)+CHR$(O3+CHR$C&Hl)+CHK$fi;HS3 T R^5: GOSUS 5010 
324 RETURN 

9 50 ^SCAH FOR 10 METER FM ACTIVITY 

S510 PRINT: PRINT; PRINT"Hit any key to Etop and restart scan (Fl to quit)^' 

9520 CH0ICE$=VFOS: R=2:2 i GOSUB 5000 

9530 CHOICE$=HAMS! R=22: GOSUB 5000 

95 40 GHOICE$-rM$; R=22 : GOSUB 5000 

95 50 TENS=CKRS(fiH9 5) : GOSUB 9580: PRINT 

9560 TENS=CHR^(aH96} ! GOSUB 95e0: PRIIfTr PRINT"* Complete cycle (FI=quitJ " 

9570 GOTO 9S50 'Keep the loop going forever - or until <F1> hit 

9560 FOR Q9=l TO 10 

9590 T=l 

9600 READ t 

9eiO fiUMP$=CffR5fF) 

9620 CMD$=CHR&(0)'J-BUMP5*TENS+CWR$(S:H3}+CKR$<£HSJ : R^5: GOSUB SOlD 

9630 FOR S9^2 TO 5: PRINT HEX5 (STATUS^ [S9) )?; NEXT £9 

9640 PRINT" "r 

9S50 T^T-Hl: IFCINKE^$="" AND T<TIMER2) THEN 9 65 

9660 IF T<TI?1ER2 THEN T^li GOSUB 9999 

9670 NEXT 

9 6S0 RESTORE 97 00 

9690 RETURN 

97 00 DATA ^HO, £cH10, &H20, 5H3 0, &H4 0, &HdO, ^Heo^ iH7 0, 4HeO,4H90 

999 9 IF INKEYS="" THEW 99 99 ELSE RETURN 

10000 * THERE IS A CHARACTER RECEIVED! 

10010 WHILE NOT EOF(l) ;£TATUS%fR)=ASCfIKPUT${l/#l) ) :R^R-1jWEND 

100 20 RETURN 



main operational between commands, then 
you should eliminate the following lines: 90, 
1070 and 2020. 

3. If your radio does NOT echo the com- 
mands you send it, you should eliminate the 
following lines: 1020, 6050 thru 6080. 

4. If your radio does NOT have an OK or 
EXECUTE-THE-COMMAND type com- 
mand you should eliminate the following 
lines; 100, 1060, 5030, 7000 thru 7030. 

5. Does your radio send back any informa- 
tion like a status stream or some sort of ac- 
knowledgement that the command took ef- 
fect? If your radio does NOT send back 
anything, you should eliminate lines: 1030^ 
1080, 2110. 3030, 5040, 6030, 8000 thru 
8040, 9100 thru 91 50, and 10000 thru 10020, 
You may eliminate the variable R and all 
references toR. 

Now the next thing you want to do is 
study the INITIALIZATION portion of the 
program, lines 1000 thru 1130. Whatever 
brand of radio you own it's going to need a 
command buffer defined in line 1040, The 
one in our seed program is presently 5 bytes. 
If you need less or more, change it according- 
ly, A 6 byte command would appear as 
CMD$=" " (that was six spaces) or per- 
haps even better, use DIM CMD$(6). 

Other FT-980 commands are part of the 
initialization subroutine such as the command 
for VFO^ USB, etc. Simply substitute com- 
mands required by your radio. If there is no 
substitution in some cases then eliminate that 
particular one and any other reference to it 
you may find in the program. After you get 
this program working then you can add the 
complete command set. 

If your radio does receive status then be 
sure line 1030 is configured correctly. It is 
now 148 bytes, the maximum number of 
bytes the FT-980 radio will send to the 
computer at any one time. You should make 
it as large as the number of bytes your 
manual shows is the maximum you may 
receive from your radio. 

What's left? One of the most important 
things: setting up the COM port for your 
particular needs. Let's look at line 9010: 
OPEN '^COM1:4800,N,8,2,RS,CS10,DS, 



BIN^^ FOR RANDOM AS #L 

Check your GW-BASIC manual and your 
radio manual; make sure these parameters 
are correct. More than one program Fve seen 
was '*bad" because the author used one stop 
bit. Why not? The rest of the world uses one 
stop bit— but not the FT-980 PROM. It de- 
mands two! So make sure all is OK, The 
parameter 10 associated with CS above will 
most likely have to drop to zero if you are 
using a slow computer and a value higher 
than 10 for faster machines, I have tested the 
program at 4.77 MHz on a laptop (CSO) and 
at 16 MHz on a 386 machine (CSIO). One 
other comment on the port: you may also use 
COM2 instead of COML If you wish to do 
this be sure to change all COM references 
throughout the program. 

As you work with the program I recom* 
mend that you just concentrate on getting the 
computer/ radio dialog going with consistent 
results. Then you can open up your imagina- 
tion and add the bells and whistles. Today, 
my CAT980 program (available as share- 
ware) has some pretty fancy displays, like 
filter plots, analog dials and user menus for 
instant deployment. Even a log is included 
which automatically records all the radio 
parameters of the moment. But there was a 
time when the program just sat there and did 
nothing. 

So with that in mind here is one last 
thought: share your basic ideas with other 
hams. Write an article or submit a listing to 
the technical correspondence sections of our 
magazines. Put your program on BBS*s like 
CompuServe. And if you feel like you've got 
a program for the big leagues, then enter the 
world of Shareware. The real fiin, and I be- 
lieve this strongly, is still out there. 

There's a barely scratched world of con- 
trolled excitement waiting to take shape, and 
like a lot of things in ham radio, we can have 
more fun if we keep each other informed. 
These pages and diis interface are a good 
place to start. 



Contact Art Harding K5YEF at P.O. BOX 
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73 Amateur Radio TodBy • August, 1991 45 



II 



Number 5 on your Feedback card 



73 Review 



ftv Dick Goodman WA3USG 



The Kantronics KTU 
Telemetry Unit with 
Weathernode EPROM 

Remote weather observations via packet! 



Kantronics 

1202 E. 23rd St. 

Lswrence KS 66046 

(9 1 3) 842-7745 

Price Class: KTU— $300 

Options: Anemometer— S1 10 

Rain gauge — S 90 



Packet radio is the most rapidly grow- 
ing and divers© mode in the history 
of amateur radio! In the early 19S0s^ the 
"Packet Revolution" was started by dedi- 
cated groups of amateurs in both Canada 
and the USA. These amateurs stimulated 
packet growth by setting standards and 
plotocolSt offering the first TNCs in kit 
form at a price affordable to amateurs 
and. perhaps most importantly, providing 
much needed information on this 
fledgling mode. As the years progressed, 
packet technology accelerated at an ex- 
ponemial rate. 

Packet research and development, un- 
til recently, has been In the direction of 
Increasing pure communications capabil- 
ities. There is another aspect of packet that is 
finally receiving attention, ar^d that is data ac- 
quisition and control. 

While communications. BBS usage, mes- 
sage handling and related applications will 
always be the mainstay of packet, automatic 
coHection and forwarding of data will become 
widespread in the upcoming years. Wouldn't 
it be nice to have access to weather conditions 
at your club site via packet? Parameters such 
as temperature, wind speed, direction, and 
even rainfall could be valuable pnor to starting 
an antenna work party. What about the condi- 
tion of your club's repeater? Knowing the re- 
peater's PA stage heat-sink temperature^ PA 
current, line and Vcc voltages, and AGC 
voltage , could be most helpful to control oper- 
ators. How about remote control of equip- 
ment? The capability to power down, ener- 
gize, or reset various devices might be 
beneficial, Again* as with the "communica- 
tions" aspect of packet, expenmenters have 
been doing this for years, but until recently 
there has been no turnkey system to make this 
possible for the less technically orientated. 

Data Acquisition and Control with the KTU 

The Kantronics Telemetry Unit (KTU) with 
the Weathernode EPROM makes these func- 
tions possible. The KTU is a small device. 

46 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 




Photo. The Kantronics KTU Tetemetry Unit 

1 ,75" X 6" X 8'', designated as Data Terminal 
Equipment (DTE), It simply plugs into your 
existing TNC where your computer (ortermi- 
nal) would normally be connected. Your com- 
puter is then plugged into the rear of Ihe KTU. 

The power requirements are 1 1-20 VDC at 
4S mA or, in the "Low Power" mode* 1 1-28 
VOC at 30 mA The KTU front panel is laid out 
quite simply. There is a power switch and a 
power indicator LED- Wext to that, a "Teleme- 
try/Lc>car* switch and two LEDs show which 
position that switch is in. Finally there is a 
"Bypass" switch and companion indicator 
LED. 

The KTU rear panel consists of a standard 
DB-25 connector for your computer or termi- 
nal, a modular style connector that connects 
to your TNC (cable and mating connector are 
supplied), and an 8-pin external sensor corv 
nector {cable and mating connector are sup- 
plied). Note that normal packet operation is 
not affected by the KTU; pressing the "By- 
pass'* switch connects the terminal to the 
TNC and takes the KTU out of line. 

Since the KTU includes the Weaihernocfe 
EPROM. I got the optional anemometer/ 
wind direction indicator. This unit, which in- 
cludes mounting hardware, is of high quality 
plastic construction and requires minimal 
assembly. It's not necessary to calibrate the 



wind speed portion of the Instrument; the 
wind direction sensor is calibrated wtth 
just a compass. Ensure that the instru- 
ment is mounted outside as high as possi- 
ble, and away from obstructions, in order 
to obtain accurate readings. Both this unit 
and the external temperature sensor (in- 
cluded with the KTU) connect lo the 8-pin 
connector on the rear of the KTU, 

The serial cable from the computer 
should be connected to the DB'25 con- 
nector on the rear of the KTU, and the 
TNC connected to the KTU via the modu- 
lar cable provided. These levels may be 
either RS-232 or TTL, set by internal 
Jumpers in the KTU. If any cabtes have to 
be made up, pinouts for all conr^ectors 
are adequately detailed In the documentation. 
Once these connections are made, the KTU 
may be powered up and initialized for opera- 
tion with your TNC. 

Set-Up and Configuration 

Sat your communications terminal for 8 
data bits and the baud rale to match the TNC 
to the computer baud rate. Set the KTU "By- 
pass" and "Telemetry/Local" switches to 
"OUT." then apply power. The KTU will sign 
on your terminal with its autobaud routine and 
sign-on message. You will be prompted to 
enter the date and time. 

Once this is completed, operational 
parameters may be set. These parameters are 
similar to those used in your TNC (e.g.: abaud, 
flow, echo, parity, xflow, etc.). The KTU will be 
optimized in this process to communicate with 
your TNC. Once the KTU is initialized, some 
TNC parameters will probably have to be mod* 
ified. Those options are adequately explained 
in the documentation. 

Once these steps are completed, the KTU is 
ready for programming. Programming the 
KTU instructs the unit on how often to sample 
the external sensors., how to display the re- 
sults (metric/USA), how many entries to send 
in response to a data command, and how 
many entries may be stored in the KTU's inter- 



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nal memory. Sensors may be sampled and 
displayed in a range of lime from seconds to 
monlhs. This versatiltty is qurte impressive! 
The documentation goes into considerable 
detail on proper syntax and procedures. The 
KTU may be configured to operate with a vari- 
ety of TNCs and is compatible with virtualty all 
packet LAN configurations. The KTU may be 
programmed in a local mode directly from the 
terminal connected to it, or from over the air. 
Over-the-air programming requires entry of a 
password and other unique security con- 
straints. 

Using the KTU to obtain weather data is 
quite simple after reading the user instruc- 
tions. These instructions are fomiatted to al- 
tow the KTU owner to simply photocopy both 
sides of one page in the KTU system manual 
and pass it along to potential users. 

On-Line with the KTU 

The TNC used for this review was the 
Kantronics KPC-4. By issuing a connect re- 
quest to my station a user receives the normal 
"Connected to" response followed by a 
"wxn:" prompt. At this point the KTU may be 
queried for weather data, or programmed by 
the "Sysop." By simply typing a "D" for 
(D)ata, the KTU will display the last reading of 
wind speed, direction, external temperature, 
and internal KTU PC board temperature (see 
Figure 1). If the optional rain gauge sensor is 
Installed . this data will also be presented. By 
entering the correct command, USA or Metric 
unils may be specified. The data command 
may be modified to request virtually any num- 



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CmCL£ IGS ON RE ADEN SERVICE CARO 

48 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



berof entries from those stored internally. 

An example of the data command syntajc is: 
"Data TF 3 WS 5 WD 2"— This woukJ display 
three readings of external temperature, five 
readings of wind speed, and two readings of 
wind direction. Entering the command "PR," 
displays how the data is being stored. An ex- 
ample of a reply to a "PR** request might be; 

"PROGRAM R10M TP TF A1 5S WD WS 
7813Sampfes1 Day 08:00:00/' 

This response to the ''PR" command wou^d 
tell the user that the internal and external tem- 
peratures are being sampled and recorded 
once every 10 minutes and the wind speed 
and direction are being averaged and record- 
ed once every 15 seconds. The second line 
displays the capacity of the KTU's internal 
memory buffers in this data configuration. In 
this case, the buffers will store one day and 
eight hours of data before the earliest informa- 
tion is ovenwritten. Knowing this. Ihe user can 
request data in a format useful to (heir applica- 
tion. It the outdoor temperature is being saved 
every 1 minutes, the user may not want every 
reading. Entering a data command of "Data 
TF 20 3" would display every third reading of 
temperature for 20 readings (or 20 readings in 
half-hour steps). All data read with the "Data" 
command is date and time stamped by the 
KTU (see Figure 2). 

As you can see, by judicious use of pro- 
gramming, the Sysop can save data over long 
periods of time by keeping the sampling rate 
low. This would be efficient for day-lo-day 
weather data collection. However, during 
unique weather phenomenon, the sampling 
rate may be increased on all sensors to allow 
instantaneous response to changing temper- 
atures, wind speed, direction, and rainfall 
This would be excellent for recording the pas- 
sage of storm fronts and the like. With this 
simple, yet versatile data gathering language, 
the user may request data from any sensor as 
little or as often as desired. 

Other Capabilities 

The KTU will support up to seven sensors 
attached to the rear panel mputs. Each of 
these sensors accepts a 0-5 VDC input. 
These inputs are those that are presently be- 
ing accessed by the Weaihemode EPROM. 
Depending on how the KTU is configured (with 
internal jumpers), certarn rear panel connec- 
tions may also be programmed to output digit- 
al levels (0 and 5 VDC). These conneclions 
may also be commanded to generate pulses 
with the frequency being determined by the 
user via the "F0" or 'T1" command. Thts 
capability would be excellent for controlling 
remote devices. All this is explamed in the 
KTU system manual. This sophisticated data 
acquisition mode may not be used in conjurrc- 
tion with the Weathemode, since the weather 
sensors use all rear panel inputs. 

Observations 

The KTU did absolutely everything that it 
was advertised to do J was impressed with the 
ease of assembly of the weather instruments 
and their quality. The anemometer tracks 
what my existing Heathkit unit displays to 



ititrr: d 



06/16/91 
06/ 16/9 1 
06/ 16/9 f 
06/16/91 



21;32'2S «S s OOOT? n?n 
21:32:23 II& ± 00263 D£G ^ 



Ftgure t. Response to the data rBtrieve com- 
mand. "D". Current readings for afl attached 
sensors are disf^ayed. TPC8 = PC board tem- 
peraturSt TF = external tempefBture (deg. FJ, 
WS = wind speed, and WD = wind direction. 



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06/16/91 


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06/16/91 


17:«9:S* 


TF 


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06/ 16/91 


17:44:5* 


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= 


+00^4.8 


D£GF 


O6/16/91 


17:39:54 


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06/16/91 


17:34:54 


IF 


S 


+ooas.o 


DEGF 


06/16/91 


17:29^54 


TF 


z 


+0085.0 


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06/16/91 


17^24:54 


TF 


s 


+0085*0 


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06/16/91 


17:19:54 


TF 


± 


+0085*3 


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06/1 6/9? 


IT r 14:54 


tf 


s 


+0035-3 


DiiGF 


06/16/9T 


17:09:54 


TF 


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+0035-3 


DEGF 


06/16/91 


17^04^54 


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+0035-3 


DEGF 


06/16/91 


16:59:54 


TF 


S 


+0065. 6 


DEGF 


O6/I6/91 


15:54: 54 


TF 


= 


+0035.3 


DEGF 


05/16/91 


16:49:54 


TP 


= 


+0085. B 


DEGF 


06/16/91 


16:44:54 


TF 


,3 


+0035-3 


DEGF 



Ffgure 2. tssuing a '*TF2Q ' ' command displays 
ttie iast twenty eKternai temperature readings. 

within about five percent. The wind direction 
indiDatof provides resolution down to single 
degree units and displays this data in both 
heading and compass rose notation (e.g.: N, 
NE, ENE, etc.). The external temperature sen- 
sor comes with about 50 feel of connecting 
cable, as does the anemometer. It is also pos- 
sible to add additional cable without affecting 
the calibration of the unit, 

The KTU itself is small and has minimal 
power requirements. I thought that since the 
internal lemperatLire sensor was located in* 
side the KTU it would indicate considerably 
higher temperatures than ambient due to 
component heating. This is not the case, due 
to the low current requirement of the KTU. The 
internal temperatufe displayed by the KTU is 
within a degree or two of the actual airtemper- 
ature, 

Rnally, H took me no more then one hour to 
gel everything fully operational (and that's 
from the time I opened the two boxes that the 
units were shipped in). The Kantronics 
firmware in the KTU operated flawlessly. The 
flexibility in the way weather data may be cap- 
tured and presented should meet the require- 
ments of the most demanding amateur and 
professional meteorologists. The only room 
for improvement 1 could suggest is that memo- 
ry slots be made available for high and low 
temperatures and peak wind speeds. This 
data may be derived from the stored weather 
data, however. 

With the development of additional 
EPROMS* telemetry and data acquisition 
from a wide variety of applications will be pos- 
sible. Kantronics has effectively entered a 
new era in packet technology with this innova- 
tive product! 




Number 12 on your Feedback card 



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73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 49 



Number 29 on your Feedback card 



Hope for 
Monolingual Hams 



If you really want to communicated 



f 



by David Cowhig WAILBP 



Mi>si hams on or orbiting rhis planet do 
not speak English as iheir first lan- 
guage. The Radio Amateur *s Conversation 
Guide, written by Jukka OHIBR and Miika 
OH2BAD Hcikinheimo, with the help of ham 
native speakers, leaches monolingual hams 
how to get their tongues into acceptable shape 
for foreign cars. The second edition, pub- 
lished in 1985, includes English, German, 
French. Italian. Spanish. Pormgucse. Rus- 
sian (in Cyrillic and phonetic script), and 
Japai^se (romanized). Hour-long cassette 
tapes made by ham native speakers cover 
these languages, plus Swedish and Finnish. 

Supplements to the Guide introduce you to 
Finnish, Danish, Dutch and Serbo-Croatian, 
Phonetic guides and number lists are fol- 
lowed by 50 pages of phrases in each of the 
eight languages of the Guide. In the 30-page 
multilingual glossary at the back of the book, 
you can look up the equivalent of English 
words commonly used by hams in seven oth- 
er languages* 

The phrases give you all you need to con- 
duct a very basic QSO (contact), describe 
your equipment, complain about the other 
guy*s splatter, inquire into the other opera- 
tor's marital status (an important question for 
international radio romances), and ask for a 
QSL card. Next lime a Japanese station 
QRMs (interferes with) your long rag -chew 
on 160 meters, you can tell her *'Shuhatsu-o 
tsukattcimasul*' If the offending OM (male 
ham) is in Moscow, you might say, "Castata 
^anjalat" If you want to ask a Russian to give 
you a call next time he hears you^ why, just 
say, "Kagdd byi vyi ni usl]^isaii minjd pazal- 
sta. vizavftje minja" (and don't forget the 
accent marks). 

Some You Have to Hear 

Language tapes are necessary for those lan- 
guages which English-speaking people find 
hard to pronounce. Japanese pronunciation is 
fairly easy and regular. You could probably 
make yourself understood in Japanese with- 
out the tape if the authors would explain the 
phonetic systems they use. Romanization is 
used for Japanese and Russian, but the con* 
vent ion al spelling of languages written in the 

5tJ 73 Amateur BadfO Today * August* 1991 



roman alphabet is given. Just a list of the kana 
syllabary used to write Japanese would help 
readers pick out the pronunciation much 
more easily. The standard romanization of 
Japanese used in the Guide can mislead. For 
example *Tive years,'* gonenkan^ is pro- 
nounced *'go-nen-kan/* not *'gon-en-kan/* 
A one-hour tape of any language in the 
Guide costs S9,95 plus shipping. Text sup- 
plements cost SI. 75 per language. You can 
order The Radio Amateur's Conversation 
Guide, by Jukka and Miika Heikinheimo, 
from CQ Communications. Main St.. 
Greenville, NH 03048. TeL (800) 457-7373, 
The price is $9.95 plus $3.75 postage- 

Spanish and Russian 

**Hola CQ/^ by ^'Doc^' Schwartzbard 
AF2Y, gives you all the sentence patterns and 
vocabulary you need to carry out a basic QSO 
in Spanish, Many hams who took high school 
Spanish will find thai the sentence patterns 
come back. Their new ham vocabulary also 
makes them want to learn more Spanish by 
radio. 

The ARRL*s '*Hota CQ** consists of fine 
Spanish lessons for hams. A 90-minute 
cassette tape accompanying the text teaches 
the basics of Spanish pronunciation as well 
as the pronounciation of each phrase in the 
text. AF2Y reminds us of the many words 
Spanish shares with English and other ro- 
mance languages, and how recognizing these 
words will speed our progress. You can get 
'^Hola CQ' from the ARRL, 225 Main St., 
Newington CT 06 1 1 1 . It costs $7 plus 
postage. 

Once you have mastered some phrases in 
your chosen language, you might try to find a 
night course at a local high school or junior 
college. You could also pick up a first-year 
college texthmik on the language to get a 
systematic introduction to vocabulary and 
grammar. With your access to on-the-air tu- 
toring, you may become an outstanding ham 
linguist. 

Russian and Japanese in Particular 

Other language lessons for hams are avail- 
able. Len Traubman, with the help of some 



Russian hams^ wrote "Russian Phnses for 
Amateur Radio," a 20-page booklet. The 
accontpanying audio cassette tape is for En- 
glish-speaking hams who want to communi- 
cate in Russian. The booklet contains English 
words and phrases for ham contacts* with 
Russian translation and tramiliteration for 
each phrase. You can get the booklet for $5 
(S7 overseas) and the audio cassette for $6 
(S8 overseas) from Len Traubman W6HJK, 
1448 Cedarwood Drive, San Mateo CA 
94403. 

You can also download "Japanese for 
Hams," a 12-page guide I have written on 
making simple QSOs in Japanese, free from 
the 7J landline BBS (603) 525-4438; or from 
JAHAM in the files section of the N4QQ 
packet BBS. Call K3AF-7 in Washington, 
DC on 28.195 MHz 1200 baud, connect to 
K3AF-3,andthentoN4QQ. 

Goh Kawai 7LIFQE/N6UOK, a linguis- 
tics scholar at Stanford University ^ is work- 
ing on a text of Japanese lessons for hams. 
You can contact him at CompuServe 
76056,1726. If you get more serious about 
learning Japanese, you can order Japanese 
for Beginners and Japanese for Today, edited 
by Yastio Yasuda. and published by Gakken, 
from Kinoktiniya, 10 West 49th St., New 
York NY or from some other hiHikstore. 
Tapes accompany the text. 

After you have worked on Japanese for 
awhile, you will find leading anicles in CQ 
Ham Radio, the wonderful tele phone- book- 
size (!!!) ham magazine from Japan, a great 
incentive to improve your Japanese, You can 
order CQ Ham Radio through Nihon IPS, 
lidabashi 3*11-6, Chiyoda-ku. Tokyo 102 
JAPAN for about SI 20 per year. You may 
be able to order single copies of it, or of its 
more technical cousin HamJournaL 

As the karatkavalnaviks (hams) say back 
in the U.S.S.R., '*Zelaju vam udaci i 
mnt%a di-eks' ' : I wish you good luck and lots 
ofDX 



David Cowhig has trans taied articles in 
Japanese for us and mitten articles on ham 
radio in Japan. 



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CIRCLE S4 ON READER SERVICE CARD 

73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 51 




Number 13 oft your Feedback card 



Mike Bryce WB&VGE 
2225 Msyno¥,r&r NW 
Massiftorr OH 4464S 

The Pulse Charger 

The US9 of batteries in portable QRP 
ope ratio n captivates the attention of a 
lot ot people In the August 1989 
columrr. I discu&sed a small pulse 
charger for GeH/Cell"* batteries. This 
project produced huge plies of mail. 
The original drcuit has been changed 
sNglitly, to improve switcl>ir>g. and a PC 
board t$ r^ow available to speed con^ 
striartiofi. 

p^tftiaps a quick review of the ctfcuit 
is {h order. The G ell /Cell battery is 
charged using high current pulses, 
rather than a constani current. High 
current pulses won't heat up the bat- 
tery, which reduces the chance of 
damage. 

Operation is simple- A 555 timer op- 
erating as an aslable oscillator pro- 
vides ad|ustable pulses to an IG 
voltage regulator. The duty cycle of the 
oscillator tnay be varied by Iha froi^t 
panel 50k pot. This control adjusts the 
current to the battery by varying the 
pulse mdth from the 555 osollator. The 
output of the 555 is coypled to the base 
of the 2H 9999 transisior via a 1N914 
diode. This diode protects the 555 just 
in <:^se the LM317 goes out to lunch 
and takes the 2N2222 with it for com- 
pany. 

When the output of the 655 timer 
goes high, the transistor is turned on. 
This shorts out the ADJ line of the 
LIV131 7, shutting it off, Thus, no current 
wiil go to the battery. When the 555 
timerisoff, so is the transistor, ailowing 
the LM317 to operate at the voltage 
selected by one of the 5k trimmers. In a 
nutshell, when the 555 is on, the 
LM317isoff. 

The 5k trimmers set the state^f- 
charge for the batieiy. For cycle use. a 



Low Power Operation 



Gell/Cell battery should have a full 
state-of^harge voltage of 14.4 volts. 
For standby use, select 14.0 as a full 
state-ofH^harge voltage. I also have a 
handful of 6 volt gelled batteries I use 
now and then. So, the second voltage I 
selected is 7.2 volts. 

NiCds 

A note about NiCds t}efore we get 
loo fat into this projecl. When this 
charger first came out. many of you 
asked aboui charging tip NT batteries, 
Weitt you can — it yoy understand 
some of the limits of both the charger 
and the NiCds. Firs;! and foremost. hfT 
batteries are all ditferent. Batteries that 
came with the HT and those you have 
replaced from a third-patty vendor may 
be different. In most cases Ihey are 
different. 

I know ot one particular battery pack 
that does some magic when dropped 
into the manufacturer's quick charger. 
The battery pack is normally 12 volts, 
but a small relay inside the battery 
pack switches the batteries to a 6 volt 
configuration to allow high speed 
charging. To keep things from blowing 
up, a heat sensor glued lo one of the 
cell's case will open up, slopping the 
charge current unlit the cell has cooled 
down. Some third-party battery re-f>|- 
lers don't inctude this sensor Kow 
many of ys< in repairing an HT battery 
pack, have removed the sensor? 

If you use the pulse charger to 
charge up the NiCds for yoyr HT, limit 
the current to whatever value Is listed 
on the battery's charge table. After you 
get the feel of things, you can increase 
the current. 

Construction is very easy, thanks to 
the circuil t>oard supplied by Far Cir- 
cuits. Not knowing what everyone has 
in the junk box, I laid the PC board oat 
to use several different styles of the 
IJ^317 and dkJde bridge. Use whatev- 




Piioio A. The pulse chargBr—upgradsd to handle iarger bstteri&s. 



er version of LM317 you have, either in 
the TO-220 case or the TO'3 case 
style: BUT NOT BOTH AT THE SAME 
TIME. The same goes for the diode 
bridge. You can use either four indlvid- 
uaJ dkxles or a bridge rectifier pack 
from Radio Shack (R$ 276-1 146>, but 
not both. I prefer ihe Radio ShacK part 
myself; it's easier to install on th# 
board. 

The filter capacitor is aJso mounted 
on the PC board this time. A 2200 nF 
capacitor is used. This value is not es- 
pecially essential; you can use as low a 
vaiue as 1000 pF and as high a vaiue 
as IO1OOO liF The filter smooihs out 
the DC from the bridge so the 555 timer 



sees 3 nice smooth Vcc- The 7BL12 
provides a regulated -v 12 for the 555 
timer. Don't forget to use the bypass 
capacitors on the 76112. 

Keeping K Cool 

The LM317 can get kinda hot. In my 
prototype, it got too hoi. (How hot d^d it 
get. Mike?) It got so tK>t the btack heat 
sink turned silver! It was my fault. I was 
charging up 24 amp^hour batteries. 
This was way too much current for the 
one amp LM317 to pass. I was really 
surprised that it didn't fry the LM317I 
One way of generating too much heat 
is over-sizing Ihe Iransfonner. For 12 
volt charging, use only an 13 volt trans- 





Parts List for the Pulse Charger 


Pan 


Descnption 


U1 


78L12 vo^iage regulator 


U2 


555 timer IC 


m 


LM31 7K (or L^3i 7T) adiustable regulator 


01 


2N2222NPN transistor 


D1-D4 


1 N4001 {or bridge rectifier HSU 276-1 146} 


D7 


1N4001 


D5.D6 


1N914diode 


CI 


2200 tiF, 35 V electrolytic, axial 


C2,C3 


2.2 uF, 35V tantalum 


C4.C7 


4.7 mF, 35V tantalum 


C5,C6 


0.1 ^F ceramic 


FI1.R3,FI4 


2.2k, V4W resistor 


R2 


50k potentiometer 


R5 


220 ohm , V4W resistor 


R6.R7 


51c potentiometer 


T1 


1 SV at 2A AC transformer 



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Figure 1 . Schematic for the puise charger. 
52 73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 




Photo 8. Pmiotype PC tOBrd used in charger. Note 
the extra resistor soldered to the capacitor. Now the 
resistor is on the board. Just under the larger capaci- 
tor, the iM3 f 7 is bolted to the metai chassis. 




Figure 2. PC board foil pattern. 





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former, no more. If you regularly charge HT batteries 
or 6 voJt gells, a 1 2 volt transformer will do just fine. 

If you want to charge farger batteries, use the 
LM350K Th is device i s good f o r 3 a m ps of c u rr e nt . I n 
any case, to keep your charger from becoming your 
own personal Three Mile Island, you have to heat- 
sink the LM317. if you use the TO-220 case, you 
have an easy option. Just use the metal chassis as a 
heat sink. Vou have to insulate the case from the 
chassis^ as it is hot. Radm Shack sells a mounting kit 
for the TO-220 for a buck. 

If you go this route, use IM-inch spacers for the 
board, and solder the leads of the LM31 7from the foil 
side of the board. Send the LM317 back down so it 
wfll lay fiat against the chassis. Spread some heat- 
sink compound on both the LM31 7 and the chassis to 
improve heat transfer. Don't forget to in so late the 
LM317 from the chassis. Pre-fit everything before 
you drill holes into the chassis. 

Another option is to use the TO-3 case, LM317. 
The PC board is brg enough to hold it and a heat sink. 
Because there are many different styles of heat sinks 
on the market, it's a good idea to make a dry run to be 
sure everything fits before soldering, 

Easy Set"Up 

Remove the 555 timer and lay it aside. Apply 
power to the circuit. Check for +12 volts at pins 8 
and 4 of the 555. Select one of the trimmers, Set it 
for 14.4 volts. Set the other for 7.2 volts. Again, you 
can set these for whatever value you want or need. 
If you use the blocking diode, set the voltage on 
the battery side of the diode. This blocking diode fs 



not on the PC board. You really don't need it, but if 
you're like me and forget to disconnect the battery 
and to power down the charger, the battery will dis- 
charge into the charger. The diode prevents this 
from happening. 

In the prototype, ! used a 0-500 mA meter. I found 
this to be too small for the batteries I was charging. 
Use a 0-1 amp meter if you plan on charging 4,5 
amp/hour or iarger batteries. 

Power down the charge and let the caps dis- 
charge. Replace the 555 timer With a battery con- 
nected to the output, power up the charger. With the 
duty cycle control ^ set the current for proper charg- 
ing. Remember, the meter will average out the read- 
ing from the pulses going to the battery. That's about 
all there Is to do. When the battery becomes fully 
charged, the current will drop to a very low reading, 
How much current is flowing when the battery is fully 
Charged depends on the type of battery, battery size, 
and of course, the battery temperature. Don't use the 
Charger to operate any of your gear! ! 

Kit Available 

To make it easier to get this project going, I can 
suppfy a complete kit of parts for the charger. The kit 
will contain all of the PC board components. There 
won't be too many of these kitted up, so don 't wait too 
long. Cost of the PC board and parts is $29.96. plus 
$2.50 for postage. 

That should take care of all your portable bat- 
teries. No reason to not pick up the HW-9 and head 
for the woods. Ah yes, QRP; better living with 
less. 



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73 Amsteur Radio Today • August, 1991 53 



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Number 14 Ofi your Feedback card 



4MS WITH CLASS 



Camte Perry WB2MGP 

Medm Mentors. Inc. 

P.O. Box f3164e 

Btaien island NY f OS 13-0006 

The Dayton Youth Forum 

For sevara! months prior to the 1991 
Dayton Hamvention. I was concerned 
about finding dynamic youngsiers who 
were also active hams tg speak at the 
Youth Forum I was going lo be moder- 
aling there. I was also anxious at>Dut 
how many hams would be bringing 
thesr own youngsters with tf^em to the 
Foru m , as we had bee n publ ic iz ^ ng and 
advedising in ail the ham magazines. 

Happily, an anxieties were for 
naugtit. The Yoyfh Forum got off to a 
flying start wften astronaut Torry Eng- 
IsFKl WfORE stopped by to wish us 
well, and offered to speak to the stand* 
ing-room-ofily audience. 

Or, England was appointed a NASA 
scientist-astronaut in 1967, and acted 
as mission scientist for the Apotlo 13 
and 16 flights. He also flew as a mis- 
sion specialist on the space shuttle 
Ctiaflenger's Spa eel a b 2 mission in 
19S5. Currently, he ts professor of elec- 
trical engineenng and compyiar sci- 
ence at the University ol Michigan in 
Ann Artwr, Tliefe he both teaches and 
conducts research on microwave 
emission, propagation, and scattering. 

Tony England enchanted everyone 
witti his stories of how he ^n6 his high 
school ham friends used their knowl- 
edge of Morse code to better ' 'commu- 
nicate" during tests, The audience of 
more than 60 youngsters, plus all the 
adults who attended, were privileged 
to hear Tony speak of his Interest in 
amateur radio as a vehicle to interest 
young people in science and engineer- 
ing. With few and progressively fewer 
bona fide role models for young people 
in today's society. Tony England made 
a superb oper>ing speaker for the 1991 
Youth Forum at Dayton, 

Dynamic Speakers 

After such an auspicious introduction, 
the young speakers had no problem 
p^cicjng up the ball and impressing the 



audience with their eloquence, compo- 
sure, and dedication to a matey r radio. 

The first young speaker on the agen- 
da was Todd Tittle KF7LX from Sedro- 
Wooiley, Washmgton. This personable 
17-year-old is an Advanced Class li- 
cense holder and president of his high 
school amateur radio club. Todd was 
secretary and treasurer of the Western 
Country Cousins Net, for which he a3so 
served as net contra L His apparent 
ease at the microphone aL a national 
convention spoke well for his eicperi* 
ences at the radio over the last several 
years. Todd attributed his original in- 
terest m ham radio to his grandfathef. 
He encouraged the young people who 
were present to pursue different areas 
of the hobby and have fun wHh i1 

Witlls AlmekEnder KB2LEP is a 15- 
year-otd ninth grader from Lyons. New 
York. Despite his young a^e, Willis is a 
member of RACES, and has used his 
New York Disaster Preparedness Com- 
mission identification card to get past 
road blocks and into the canter of 
emergencies to offer assistance. He has 
already made a career choice thai will 
take advantage of his outgoing de- 
meanor. Wilijs wants to combine an 
extensive electronics knowledge wilh 
an interest m taw. and to argue cases 
that involve higfi technology. Will is en* 
COuraged the youngsiefs in the audi- 
ence to consider getting involved with 
emergency preparedness in their local 
areas 

Sammy Garrett AAtCR w^ ne^ at 
the podium. This articulate 13-year-old 
fnam Fionssant, Missouri, has an Ejclfa 
Class license. Sammy and I spent 
some time together talking at the con- 
vention leaving no doubt in my mind 
about why he was selected the 1991 
Wesllink Young Ham of the Year. He 
amazed the audience with his apiombt 
and encouraged the adults to share 
their enthusiasm with the youngsters 
they wanted to recruit into ham radio. 
Sammy suggested that we all look for 
the "little child" in ourselves when 
speaking to young people. He made an 
enormousfy favorable impression on 
everyone. 





Phoio B S^mmy Garrett AA9CR. the Westtink Young Ham at the Year, encoura^ 
ing si^uits to share Ihetr enthusiasm with youngsters. 




Photo C. Lenny Mack KB8KTC participated in Moonoase Amerim. 



Photo A. Astroham Tony Erigtand W0ORE got thirjgs off to a flying start with Carole 
Perry WB2f^GP at the Dayton Youth Forum. 

54 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



Brian Cresenil KB2GTD, a t4-yeaf- 
old from Ryebrook, New York, shared 
his eKperienties as 5AREX (Shuttle 
Amateur Radio Experiment) net con- 
trol at Glindbrook High School, f^ew 
York, for the STS-35 mission last De- 
cember. Brian made the initial contact 
that gave students at his school a 
chance to ask questions of Hon Pa rise 
WA4SIR, pay load specialist on board 
the Columbia. Brian and his dad^ 
KB2GTE, are members of the West- 
chester Emergency Communicaiions 
Assoctaiion. Someone in the audience 
commented to me on how wonderlul it 
was for young people to be ptaytng 
such an active role in some of the most 
extraordinary events in the wortd to- 
day. Amateur radio has provided an 
unparalled opportunity for children to 
become motivated about tomorrow's 
possibilities in technology. 

Lenny lUlaqk KB8KTC is a tenth 
grader who had the incredible experi- 
ence of participating in the Moon base 
America project during the third week 
of April 1991. Moonbase America is a 
national educational project created in 
conjunction with NASA. Profect head- 
quarters fs m the Copely-Fairtawn City 
Schools in Copely. Ohio. Lenny ex- 
piamed that the prajecl is a simulated 
moon-siaiion constructed out Of 
geodesic domes Moont^se. designed 
to provide a lunar environment wfvere 
students could study science, was lo> 
cated beside the tennis courts of Cope- 
ly High School, As a command con- 
tfoJIer, Lenny described how ham radio 
played a major role in the communica- 



tions setup of this course for teaching 
students how to live on the moon, and 
to appreciate the value of teamwork 
and indivtduailzation. [See the April 
"QRX** for more detaiis about Moon- 
base America. -Eds,} 

All Hopes Fulfilled 

I hope never to conduct a youth fo- 
rum that doesn't include at least one 
distaff member- Through ihe genemsi- 
ty of several hams, Mary Alestra 
KB2FGG, a 13-yearHold from my class, 
was able to attend Dayton aind speak at 
the forum. This Extra Class license 
holder was the 1990 Westiink Young 
Ham of ttie Year, She has gone on to 
t>e an tnsptration for many other young 
people, especially girls. 

It was my profound hope when 
we began this that the Youth Forum 
would showcase young people who 
were accomplished, involved, and 
having fun in amateur radio. It was a 
personal honor to be able lo bring 
together such an outstanding repre- 
sentation from across the country. It 
was clear to anyone in attendance that 
day that a! least some of the not-yet- 
ham children attending the forum will 
be considering the possibility of joining 
our ranks. 

Thanks must go to the members of 
DARA who are always so supporirve of 
educational efforts, and to everyone in 
the ham community who encourages 
and \en6B support to youth-oriented ac* 
tivities, thereby ensuring continued re- 
cruitment of bright, energetic, and ded- 
icated young people. 



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CIRCLE 279 ON READER SERVICE CAR© 

73 Amateur Radio Today * August 199 1 S5 



H 



Hymtw t & on your Fe9db9ck card 



AMSATS 



Andy MacAthster WA5ZfB 
t4714 Knighfsway Drive 
Houston TX 77083 



AMSAT at Dayton 1991 

If you haven 1 made the trip to the 
Dayton Hamvenlion at ieast once, ptan 
fKm 10 attend nexl y&ar. Over 30.000 
hams were on hand for a ham radio 
osnvention o( gigantic pfoportions. I 
thought tfie Houston gathering was 
large and tha one from Dallas huge* 
but both paled before the massive as- 
sembly of commarcia! exhibitors, pre- 
sentations, Bwaptesi enthusiasts and 
ham participants that took over south- 
western Ohio tor a long weekend in 
April. 

The event organizers outdid them- 
selves with qyici( regtstratton, shuttle 
buses to outlying parkir^g areas and 
talk-In mfomiation on 2 meters, 220 
MHz and 70 cm. The conventfon guide 
was a fyil'Sized magazine, noi just ihe 
simple forum list so common at other 
ham conferences. 

Af^SAT was well represented with 
speakers in the meeting rooms and 
Informed volunteers a1 the booth in 
the commercial exhibit area, f^ost of 
the AMSAT board members and Offi- 
cers attended and were available at 
the Hafnverttion to answer questions 
about the amateyr radio satellite 
pfogram, 

AMSAT President and General 
Manager Doug LoughmiUer K05t 
spoke at a forum about the successful 
launches of several new hamsats in 
1990e Lou McFadin W&DID and 
AMSAT Director Tom Ctark W3IWI de* 
scribed the Shuttle Amateur Radio Ex- 
periment (SAREX) equipment used on 
board STS-35 and STS'37. Lou 
Showed a tape of amateur television 
video as received by Kbtx Caineron 
KB5AWP Ort the recent STS-37 mis- 
sion. Or. Tony England WCORE. wtK3 
took ham radio to spac« on a shuUle 
mission several years ago, spoke on 
the educational benefits of the SAREX 
operations. 

AMSAT Director and Vice President 
of Manned Spacecraft Operations 
Bill Tynan W3X0 touched on future 
shuttle and space-station activities, 
while AMSAT Director Dr, Bots Mc- 
Gwier N4HY discussed the Microsat 
programs under consideration or 
construction irr several international 
locations inciudjog Mexico, Australia 
andtialy. 

Back at the AMSAT booth, in adcft- 
tion to the excellent advice and help 
offered by the volunteers, AMSAT had 
new publications for sale, Decoding 
Telemetry from the Amateur Sat&Hires 
by G. Gould Smith WA4SXM provides 
an in^epth look at all the current ham- 
sat telemetry schemes from the sim* 
p lest C Won AMSAT-OSCAB-21 . to the 
complexities of the UnFversity of Surrey 
satellite systems. 

The Safeffite Expenmefttef's Hantf- 



Amateur Radio Via Satellite 



book has been completely revised by 
author Marty Davidoff K2UBC, The re- 
sult is an updated and expanded refer- 
ence book for both beginners and long- 
time ham sat enthusiasts. AH hough the 
price is up to $20, this SSO-page vc4- 
ume covers ail Ihe bases wher> it 
comes 10 satellite chasing. 

A Beginner's Guide to OSCAR- 13 by 
Keith Berglund WB5ZDP is into anoth- 
er pfint run. AMSAT ordered a large 
batch of these pop^jlar booklets to be 
ready in time for Dayton and for poten- 
tial sales through 199T For a bargain 
$7. you learn how to gel a fulty-func- 
ticnai station on the air for the 



research satellite. It offers several 
modes of operation, but the most 
promising is the transponder system. 
Frequency charts were published in 
the May 1991 "Hamsats" column. 

Simple systems with omni antennas 
can access the analog transponder 
with SSa and OW with ease. Mobile 
and portable operation with the clarity 
of Mode B is now a realistic possibility. 
While the specificatior^s of the uplink/ 
downlink system appear similar to 
OSCAR- 7 {launched in 1974 and oper- 
dtional through 1980), the signals 
sound much stronger. This could t>e a 
result of many years of high-orbft Mode 
B transponders on A-0-10 and A-O-13 
and the extra effort needed to equip 
ground stations to receive the weaker 
signals from orbits ten times higher 
thanA-0'2rs. 



Advances in receiver pefformance 
over the last 17 years arKl small high- 
powef transmit radios give today's A- 
0-21 enthusiasts an edge over the 
homebrew and eseotic equipment users 
of two decades pfevious. 

During late May and early June, ex* 
pefiments were underway to test the 
systems of A-0-21. Some oscillation 
problems were noted In the preamp of 
linear transponder number 1. Linear 
transponder number 2 was operating 
normally, but due to the investigations 
of the comp*ete system, it was not al- 
ways active. Some even heard it switcti 
off in the middle of a pass without 
ground-station commands. 

The best way to ched^ on ihe satel- 
lite a^d its functionality is to monitor 
the CW telemetry. For linear transpon- 
der twOp the data can be heard on 



h(gh<orbil satellites , 

A new Webarsat manual 
was offered in loose-teaf form 
from Wotjer Stale University. 
AMSAT carries this putriicatiOA 
lor WSU at $15 per copy. For 
those lookmg for more data on 
the inner workings of Weber- 
OSCAR-18, this edition pro- 
vides some useful insight. 

No new versions of "Instant 
Track" and "Quiktrak" were 
introduced this year. The cur- 
rent software packages contin- 
ue to outperform many ama- 
tetif and commerciaf offerings. 
In addition to the IBM-PC soft- 
ware. AMSAT carries tracking 
programs for the Commodore, 
Macintosh, Apple II. Amiga, 
Tandy CoCo and HP calcula- 
tor. Software for the older TRS* 
60 computers and Sinclair 
machines is no longer sup- 
ported. 

You can get details on prices 
of the AMSAT software offer- 
ings, and publications can be 
obtained by calling AMSAT at 
(301) 589^*6062 during normal 
East Coast business hours. In* 
quiries can also be sent to 
AMSAT. P.O. Box 27. Wash- 
ington DC 20044, 

RS*14/A-0-21/ 
Radio-M1/RUOAK-2 

This new amateur satellite 
has brought back the excite- 
ment of easy-to-copy strong 
signals via Mode B {70 cm up 
with 2 meters down) from low 
earth orbit. As one longtime 
hamsat enthusiast said wtiis 
making a contact via the 
transponder, '*lt's like OSCAR- 
7 all over again, only 6 dB 
betterf" 

From Its 620-mHe-high orbit, 
RS-14, also known as AMSAT- 
OSCAR-21 or Radio-M1 or 
RUDAK-2, is providing excel- 
lent comfnunications to sta* 
tions not yet fully conrigured for 
operatiof* on AMSAT-OSCAft- 
I3's high elfipticaJ orbit This 
joint Soviet/German satellite is 
a part of a Soviet geological 




Photo A. AMSAT's tooth at the Dayton Hamvention (I to rj: AA^SAT Coordinator Mike 
Crisfer N4iFD. AMSAT President Doug Loughmifter K05K and AMSAT Corporate Secre- 
tary Martha Saragovitz. 




Photo B. AMSA T Executive Vice President John Champa KBOCL answers another Qyes- 
tkm aiXKit satettites at the Dayton Hamvention. 



S6 73 AmatBur Radio Today * August, 199t 



1 45.948 MH2. Decoding ttie number 
groups IS Simple. A typical IramB ot 
tetemetry consists of eight four-digit 
numbers. 

An actyal safnpte c^ data a>pted ifi 
late May look&cf like: PPPPRS 14/7007/ 
71 T6r7224/731 6/7409/7500/7600/77. 
To decode the data, refer to Table 1 . 

The first fourdigil number was 
"7007/* The first digit defines the 
channel status. A prefix of "6" identi- 
fies a general status, while a "2" Iden- 
tifies a ccmmand status. The "7" is 
Eikely a general status. The second dig- 
it, a "0/' is the channel number Chan- 
nel "0" defines the transponder out- 
pyL The last Iwo digits give the power 
level output in watts when motliplred by 
0.05. For '07," the result is so close to 
zero watfs that it ts assumed the 
transponder ts off, A number in the 
neighborhood of *'80'' would give a 
riominal reading of 4 watts. 

The second four-digK number gives 



the status again as '*7/* wrth the chan- 
nel number as " 1 . '* The last two digils, 
"16/ ' show the transponder power am- 
plifier temperature to be 16 degrees 
Celsius. If the transponder were on, a 
higher number with resultani tempera- 
ture would be expected^ 

For the remaining channels, the ef* 
fects are easy to compute. A calculator 
isn't needed. The numbers directly re- 
flect voltages and temperatures as de- 
tected on the spacecraft. Information 
for decoding the data on channel "7" 
is not currently known. 

The most important number to those 
wishing to make contacts via the satel- 
nte is the value of channel ''1/' Any- 
thing above '40" should reflect active 
transponder operation. Although DX 
activity is limited due to the herghl of 
the orbit, excellent communications to 
a few thousand miles range will provide 
some very satisfying contacts from 
A-0-21/RS.14 



Channel 


Parameter 


Formula 


Unit 





Transponder Power Output 


0.05*N 


Watts 


1 


Transponder PA Temperature 


N 


Deg.C 


2 


+24 Volt Regulated Supply 


N 


Volts 


3 


+ 16 Volt Regulated Supply 


N 


Volts 


4 


+ 9 Vott Regulated Supply 


N 


Volts 


5 


+ 24 Volt Regulated Supply 


N 


Volts 


6 


Inside Temperature 


N 


Deg.C 


7 


Engineering Value 


N 


? 



Table T. CWf04smetfy decoding pafMmetBfs. 




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More DXing Teehntques 

0«ie of my friends told me recently 
thai he had u$@d whai can be constd- 
emd a bad technique to work a new 
counlry. He wasn't necessarily proud 
ot the fad, tjut after several unsuccess* 
ful days of using conver>lional tech- 
niques, he finally broke down and 
wofked the elusive statKHi by "eatling 
oul of lyrn," or "'break iog-in/* He did 
this only after he heard another stat^OA 
successfully wofk the DX siatk>n using 
tills technique. This should remind us 
thai (here is more than one way to work 
DX in pite-ups. 

Calling on or near the same frequen- 
cy at the same time as a station work- 
ing the DX station is considered by 
many to be rude or unethical. But it is 
done, and it is too often successful. 
A more appropriate technique is 
"tail ending/' 

Tailendmg means transmitting your 
caJtsign on or near the same frequency 
as the statiofi working the DX station 
immediately after ihat station ftnishes. 
TaMending is especiafty siK:cessfii1 on 
CW, and it can be effective m SSB ptle- 
ups as welL Bui fl ks not an easy tech- 
nique to master. 

Tai lending used against an inexperi- 
enced DX operator often causes more 
problems than successes. A poorly 
executed tail end does nothing more 
than QRM the calling station, and more 
than likely will require the DX station to 
asK for a repeat, thus slowing his QSO 
rate. An excellent discussion of 
tailending is provided by Wayne Mills 
N7NG in the newly publrshed Whem 
Do We Go Next? by Martti Laine and 
others (KTE Publications, 2301 Cane- 
hill Avenue, tjong Beach CA 90615). 
Wayne, an experienced OXpedition 
Operator . shares his experience in Ap- 
pendix i. 

CY9 St. Paul Island 

Jan VE20L reports that a group of 
amateurs from the West Island Ama- 
teur Radio Club {VE2CWI) In Montreal 
will activate St. Paul Island August 1-7 
with the cailsign CY&CWI, The list of 
operators includes VE2SEI, VE2WH0, 
VE2JBF, VE2DAV. VE2PTT, VE2GZV 
and VE20L. Three stations will be 
active during this operation. Tlife fol- 
lowing frequencies have been men- 
tioned: CW— 1820. 3S20. 3680. 7040. 
14050, 21110 and 28050 kHz; SSB— 
1870* 3795, 7060. 14105, 21295 
and 284g5 kHz CY9CW1 will also be 
active on the WARC bands, OSL via 
VE2CWI. 

St. Paul tstand srts in the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence just off the northeast coast of 
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Out- 



Hams Around the World 



skie of Nova Scotia, few know about 
It ^encyclopedias don't even men- 
tion it, and the usual know- it -all geo- 
graphical dictionanes merely mention 
Its location. But to many residents of 
Nova Scotia, and to those peO(ile who 
have been there, St. Paul Island is re- 
membered as the graveyard of the Gulf 
of St Lawrence. 

As many as a thousanci deaths have 
been aitribuied to the rocky embraces 
of the island One of the first recorded 
shipwrecks was of the English trans- 
port Royal So¥erefgn, which was carry* 
ing troops home from the war of 1812, 
Of the 31 1 men on board, only a dozen 
or so survived. In 1^5 the Canadian 
barque Jessie ran aground on the is- 
land during a snowstorm. The crew 
was able to get ashore, but they died of 
starvation. 

The island, which actually consists 
of two islands and several rocks^ re- 
sembles an exclamation mark (!}. It's 
three miles long and averages 1-1/4 
miles in width It is curmnily inhabited 
by two lighlkeepers who stay on the 
island for 2S days. Around 1900 there 
were as many as 40 people livmg on 
the main island. There was a post of- 
fice, a cannery, a school and a tele- 
graph office. The lighttiouses were first 

tHjtltinia3a. 

The main island, heavify wooded 
with stunted spruce, ts about two miles 
long The island on which the light- 
keepers live (and DXers operate!)— the 
dot of the quotation mark— Is about two 
acres in size and about 40 feet above 
high water. Lighthouse keeper Mel 
Tanner describes it as "this desen is- 
land of ours/' Tanner also mentioned 
thai the jsland is " surrounded by a 
rough, rugged shoreline so exposed to 
disturbances that we are constantly 
overcast in spray during winds of any 
vekKity " 

Yuri Blanarovtch VE38MV. wnt*ng 
about the XJ3ZZ/1 DXpedriion in the 
November t977 issue ot CQ. had ttie 
follOwmQ to say atxjut St. Paul 'St, 
Paul lies 18 miles northeast ot the 
northern end of Cape Breton Island, tt 
is small rocky, and practically deso- 
late. The northern point is a detached 
pinnacle, which appears from seaward 
to be Joined to the main island, but it Is 
separated by a narrow channel about 
100 feet wide from the peninsula. The 
main part of the island rises m two par- 
allel ranges o1 hills, the southeast be- 
ing the higher with a summit of 4S5 
feet 

"There are two lighthouses on St. 
Paul, one on the detached rock form- 
ing its northern extreme, and artother 
on Its southern point The only ac- 
cess to the small island is through the 
channel separating both islands, and 
only by small boat. Wooden p^altorms 
and walkways abound over the island. 
H is very difficult to walk on the Island 




ST. P/lfc 




St. Paui fstBnd (CYQDXX OSL card}, prefJK{CY9) 



during bad weather, as the rocks are 
slippery and dangerous, but walkways 
connect all buildings on the istarKJ.'* 
Yuri also mentioned that "ihe escpedi* 
tion was not what you would call a plea- 
sure trip, but hard work. ..." 

St. Paul Island qualified as a sepa- 
rate OXCC country based on ''sepa- 
rate administration/' St. Paul, like 
Sable island, was administered by the 
Federal Department ot Transportation. 
This was established by an act of 
Canadian Parliament as part of the 
Canadian Shipping Act. 

There have been several OXpedi- 
tions to St. Paul since il was added to 
the DXCC list of countries. The Ttrst 
signed the special cailsign VYf A. Oth- 
er operations included XJ3ZZn, 
VE1CR/1 . CVeSPi. CY9SPL CV9DXX. 
W5KNEA/Et and GY9CF. The cailsign 
CYBSPI was issued to the island to be 
used by ALL operation s, but without 
any obvious reason the licensing auth- 
orities changed it to CY9SPI. The is^ 
land cailsign for Sable Island was 
changed from CY9SAB to CYCSAB at 
the same time. {Adapted from an arti- 
cle by W5KNE published in the August 
t, 1988 issue of QRZ DX,) See the 

ptKStO. 

BiitisH Virgin Islands {VP2V} 

Arch KSCFU, who will be visiting 
the islands August 16 through 25 
with his wife, will be active as 
VP2V/KeCFU. Look for him on 20 
meter SSB. OSL to Arch's Caifbook 
address. 



Greenland (0X3!) 

Laurent F6G0X {ex*TK5BL and 
FJ58LJ is a member of a scientific ex* 
pedition scheduled to be in Greenland 
during July and August. Laurent 
should t^e active on the HF bands as 
0X91 ftEF. The cailsign Of his 6 meter 
beacon on 50.100 MHz is 0X91BCN. 
OSL via F6AJA. 

DXIng How-to Books 

There have been several excellent 
DXing how-to books published in re- 
cent years, but the two that I believe 
are I he best for new DXers are The 
Complete DX'er, by Bob Locher, 
VV9KNI and The DXCC Compmion by 
Jim Kearman KRIS. 

Jim's book brings the beginner into 
the tiotiby of DXing at an easy pace 
arid Bob's book, written in an interest- 
ing narrative style, sharpens the tecfi- 

niques. 

Both books are available from major 
ham radio book outlets. You might 
want to check ''Uncle Wayne's Book- 
shelf" in this issue of 73, loo. 

New Island s-On-The-AIr Directoiy 

The new tOTA Directory, all 50 
pages of it, ts now available, it includes 
a fully updated list of islands to work for 
the IOTA Awards program and fully re- 
vised IOTA niles. Price: Europe—Si 
or 1 5 IRCs; other countries— Si 2 or 1 8 
IHCs. Send requests to IOTA Director 
Roger Balister, G3KMA. La Ouinta, 
Mimbndge. Chobham. Woking GU24 
BAR, England 



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CIRCLE l?a ON READER SEftVICE CAftO 



73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 



MICROWAVE TRANSVERTERS 




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CIRCLE 1 IS ON READin SERVICE CAIID 

73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 59 



Number 1 7 on your Feedback card 




ARTER 'N' BUY 



Turn ycHir olid ham and oomputet gear into cash now. Sure, you can wart lo^ a 
hamresi to try and dump iL but you know you'll get a far rrvore realistic pnce if yuu have 
It out wti€re 1 00,000 aclive tiarn pomntial buyers can see it than the few hundred local 
har-ts who cofT^ by a flea market table. Check your artic, garage, cellar and closet 
shelves and get cash for your ham and computer gear before it's tcx3 old to sail You 
h no w y o u ' re rKit goi ng to use it agai n , so why leave it for your widow to throw out? That 
stuff isn't getting any younger! 

The 71 flea MarkeL Barter 'n' Buy, costs you peanuts (almost)— comes lo 35c a 
word for individual (noncommercial) ads and S1 >00 a word tor commercial ads. [>on'! 
plan on tefling a iong story. Use abbreviations, cram it in. But be ttonest There are 
plenty of fiams who love to fix things, so it it doesn't work, say SO. 

Make your list, count the words, including your call address and phorie number, 
tnctude a ctieck or your credit card number and expirat^Ori. tf you're i^lacing a 
Commerctal ad. include an ^ddithonai plione number, separate from your ad. 

This IS a monthly magazine, not a daily newspaper, so figure a couple months 
before the action starts; then be prepared. If you get too many calls, you priced it low. 
It you don't get many calls, too high, 

So get busy Blow the dust off, check everything out, make sure it stiH works right 
and maybe you can help make a ham newcomer or retired old timer happy with (hat 
rig you're not using now. O^^ you might get busy On your computer and put together a 
list of small gear/parts Id send to tt>ose intonslad? 

Sertd yoiir ads md payment to the Baff&t n' Buy. Sue Conner!. Forest Road. 
Hancock NH 03449 and get set for the phone c»ifo 



CHASSIS, CABINET KITS SASE. 
K3IWK. SI 20 Harmony Grove Rd., Dover 
PA 1 7315. BNB259 

CLASSIFIED RADIO Buy/Sell/Tfade Ad- 
verliie FREE, pay onty if equipment sells. 
SIS rriax* Twice mofUhly Easy to read' 
Subscriptions Only $l2/yr. Free Samp^, 
ad line 1 (800) 553-9175. FOB 24S-S. 
Jone sboro G A 30237; BN B263 

HOME-BREW PROJECTS lists for 
SAS.E. Kenneth Hand. P.O. Box 708. 
Easr Hampton NY 11937. BNB264 

TRANStSTORS RF FOR SALE: LooKifig 
for repair shops, manufacturers and deal- 
ers. MRF454. MRF455 senes TOSHIBA 
2SC2290, 2SC2879. and more. Call (800) 
842-1489. BNB265 

ANTIQUE RADJOS, tubes, wiring dia- 
grams, 4 literature, send 2 stamps loVRS. 
P,0, Box 541 (ST). Gaffstown f^H 03O45 
fof large list. WHBS&^ 

HAM RADtO REPAJR CENTER .quality 
workmanship. Solid state or tube, ail 
makes and models. Also repair HF amplifi- 
ers. A'2 E lee ironic Repair. 3636 East, In* 
dian School Rd,, Pheonix AZ 8501B. (602) 
956-3024 BhtB267 

QSL CARDS- Look good with lop quality 
printing Choose standard designs r^r fulty 
customised cards Better cards mean 
more returns to you. Free brochure, sam* 
pies. Stamps appreciaied Chester QSLs. 
Oapt A, 310 Commercial. Emporia KS 
66801 , or FAX request to (316) 342-4705. 

BNB434 

ROSS^ $»$ NEW Ayga$l (ONLY) SPE- 
CIALS: LOOKING FOR THAT HARD TO 
FIND ITEM?? KENWOOD SM-230 
S844.90, TH'26AT $26500. TH-75A 
S399.00. TM-631A $620.00. TS-4S0S 
$CALL. TS'BSOSAT $1,609 90. IS- 
940SAT $1,999.90, TS-SSOSAT 
$3,329. 90: ft^FJ 81 5B $45,90, 948 
$104.90, 986 $239.90, 1270B $129 90; 
HEATH KIT HW-2P S279.99; NVE VIKING 
MB-V-A S644.90. MBl-02 St 79 90; ROHN 
45AGt $159 90. 25G $83.S0. TELEX HV- 
GAIN CEM5II S229 90, 1B8S $233.90. 
YAESU FT-311RM $369,90, FT-6S0 
$1,349.90. FT'709R $289.99. FT-747GX 
$689 90; ICOM 229H $379 50. 24 AT 
$389.90. 28H S419.90. Z7A $369.90. 



3200A $459,99, SEND S.A.S.E, FOR 
USED LIST ALL LXO, (LIMITED TIME 
OFFER) LOOKING FOR SOfiflETHlNG 
NOT LISTED?? CALL OR WRITE Over 
90^ ham-f etated itents m stock for imme- 
dmte shipment Mention ad. Prices cash. 
FOB. PflESTON. HOURS HJESDAY- 
FRTDAY 9 00 TO 6:00. 9.00-2:00 P.M. 
MONDAYS CLOSED SATURDAY S 
SUNDAY. ROSS DISTRIBUTING COM^ 
PANY. 78 SOUTH STATE, PRESTON ID 
83263. (208} 852-0830, BNe654 

SIMPLE LABEL PROGRAM Easy to use 
IBMflBM compatible. Send SI 0.00 with 
$2.00 S&H to Emit Kubanek W8BVB. 
6298 Old AHegan Rd., Saugatuck Ml 
49453. BNB691 

ROSS' S$SS USED August SPECIALS: 
KENWOOD TS-440S/WAT E1 ,069 90. TL- 
922A $1,399.90, SP-230 $65.90, AT 230 
$199 90. TS'830S S799 90. VFO*230 
$3D9.9D; TEN-TEC 225 $99,90, 229B 
$249.90, 260 SI 39.90. 562 SI ,699.90. 960 
$189.90, FT-301D $379 90. FT^747GX 
$629.90, FTV^eSOB $169 90, rr*411 
$249.90, FP-aOl SI 09 90 LOOKING FOR 
SOMETHING NOT LISTED^? CALL OR 
SEND S.A.S.E.. HAVE OVER 185 USED 
ITEMS in stock MENTION AD. PRICES 
CASH, FOB PRESTON, HOURS TUES- 
DAY-FRIDAY 9.00 TO 6:00, 9:00-2:00 
P.M. MONDAYS CLOSED SATURDAY & 
SUNDAY ROSS DISTRIBUTING COM- 
PANY. 78 SOUTH STATE, PRESTON ID 
83263, {7m 652-0&30. BNB709 

HAM RADIO REPAIR Experienced, reli- 
able service. Robert Hall Electronics^ 
1660 McKee Rd., Suite A, San Jose CA 
9S1 16, (406) 729-8200. BNB7S1 

WANTED^ Ham e^yipmeni and other 
property. Tt>e Radio Club of Juntor H»gti 
SctKJOl ^ NYC. Inc., is a nonprofit or§airi- 
zation, granted 501(01(3} flatus by the 
IRS, incorporated with thie goal of using 
the Itieme of ham radio to furltier and en- 
hance the education of young people na- 
tionwide Your property donation or finan* 
cia) support would be greatly appreciated 
and acknowledged with a receipt tor your 
tax dediictible CQntnt>utton. Please ^ook 
over whatever unwanted equipfnent you 
may tia^/e, and dt us. We wtlr pich up of 
arrange shipping. You wilt receive I he tax 
deduction, but most important, the prtvi- 
lege of Knowing that your gift really made a 



difference m the education and upbring^ 
ing of a child. Meet us on the WBZJKJ 
CLASSROOM NET, 1 100 UTC on 7.238 
MHz. and hope to see you at the SOUTH- 
WESTERN DIVISION CONVENTION in 
August, Write us at^ The RC ol JHS 22 
NYC, INC., P.O. Box 1052, New York NY 
10002 Round the clock HOTLINES^ 
Voice (51 ei 674-4072, FAX (516) 674- 
96CO. BNB762 

^'KAMLOG ' COMPUTER PROGRAM 
Full features. 1B modules Auto-logs, 7- 
band WAS/DXCC. Appie, IBM, CP^M. 
KAYPRO, TAMDY. CRS $24.95. 73- 
t<A1 AWH. PB 2015. Peabody MA 01960. 

BNB77S 



LAMBDA AMATEUR RADtO CLUB Inter- 
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lesbian hams. On-air skeds. monthfy 
newsieiter, and annual gathering at Oay^ 
ton. (215) 97e-LARC, P.O. Bok 24610. 
Philadelptiia PA 19130. BNB812 

INEXPENSIVE HAM RADIO EQUJP- 
MENT. Send postage stamp fof list Jim 
Brady— WA4D SO. 3037 Audrey Dr., Gas- 
tonta NC 26054 . eNB890 

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four colors, centered on your QTH, 22" x 
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BNB900 

BATTERY PACK REBUILDING: SEND 
YOUR PAGK/4flHR SERVICE ICOM: 
BP2/BP3/BP22 $19.95, BP5/BP8/BP23 
$26.95. BP24/BP70 $26,95, BP7 S32 95. 
KENWOOD PB21 $15,95, PB21H/PB6 
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60 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



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Lasers and 

Photo multiplier Tubes 

H has been a year since the FET 
swilcher AC power invener appeared 
in Ihfs cotumn^August 1990* in tact. 
The basic switch driver has been used 
in quite a few differant applications. 
The photomuillpNer tube (PMT) cov- 
ered this month uses a modified ver- 
sion of this power supply to deliver the 
high voltage required for proper opera- 
tion. The PMT Is a sensitive detectof 
used in the receiver portion of the sys- 
tem. Now for a little aboul the power 
supply and PMT requifements. 

FMTs and Gain 

The laser receiver described last 
month used a low voltage pin diode- 
Further improvements can be made 
by using a PMT with higher sensitivi- 
ties. The pin diode circuit ts modified 
by removing the first op amp to prevent 
too much gain from the PMT. In the 
end I used a single op amp tied directly 
to the LM366 audio amplifier Steve 
Noll WA6EJ0 used an 1^387 m his 
system, and eitpenmentatkjn proved 
him correct. The modifications are 
due to the faci that PMT$ are mucti 
more sensitive when compared to 
photo diodes, in fact^ PMTs have gains 
(current amplification) lliat run in the 
millionsl 

Photo multiplier tubes are electron 
tubes that receive light (a stream of 
photons) and convert it to electric cuf* 
rent. A photo cathode, the first element 




Figure 1. The 931 photomufti0er {PMT), shomng currBftf 
paiff from phdo cathode {ttght mputj to each dynode in- 
voived in current amptification. Current gain is very high 

62 73 AmatBur Radio Today • August. 1991 



of the tube, intercepts the light, then 
emits electrons (or, if v^^lj prefer, repels 
electrons because it's intercepting 
positive photons} towards tr^e first 
dynode. 

This first dynode is more positive 
than the cathode, and attracts the 
electfons However, due to electron 
bounce, when electrons hit the dy- 
node. ihey collide wUti other electrons 
on the dynode and join the original 
electrons at some exit angle. They are 
attracted by the next dynode (more 
positive) before they can return to the 
Hrst dynode. See Figure 1. You might 
also yse the old pool^able analogy to 
visualize all this activity. This process 
continues through nine successive 
dynode stages, providing very high 
current gains for a very smalt input 
^9n9i. 

Electron fexjunce happens in every 
^ectfon tybe, but a grid type structure 
near the plate, called the suppressor, 
is tied to the cathode potential. It repels 
electrons, sending them back to the 
ptate ind redui^ing secondary emis- 
sions. In the PMT, the opposite is re- 
quired in order to obtain current gain. 

PMTs can tse so sensitive that when 
they are used fof very iow hght appli- 
cations, such as astronomy, they are 
contained m magnetic shields, and 
cooled to very low temperatures. The 
magnetic shielding limits escternal 
forces affecting the electrons as they 
are reflected internal to the tube's 
elements (dynodes). and maj^imizes 
performance. 

As you cen see in Figure 2, the inter- 
nal construction of the dynode is differ- 
ent in the various types of PMTs. Some 
types are: the Side-On, the tHead-On 

(compact, with fast 
response: like the 
931)* the B05c*and- 
Grid (general lypro^ 
vides best uniform 
mity and sensitiv- 
ityj, and the Vene- 
tian Blind (high out- 
put, slow response 
time). Alt of these 
PMTs work very 
well, as time re- 
sponse is not a crJI- 
Fcal factor for our 
applications. 

The 931 andsinrv 
Qaf types of PMTs 
require a power 
supply voltage 
near 1000 voits, 
and 2 to 3 mA of 
current for the tube 
and resistor net- 
work. The power 
supply connec- 
tions for a 931 PMT 
are shown in Fig- 
ure 3, This res is* 
tance network is 



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il \J il 



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Rgure 2. Various types of photomuttipfters. 



usually contained in a welt-instiiated 
tube socket base. 

The change to itie circuit is minimal. 
With a PMT, ail you need is a high 
voltage capacitor coupling the PMTs 
output io the detector's audio pream* 
plifler circuit. A high voftage capacitor 
is necessary since PMTs operate at a 
potential around 1 kV, arnj you don't 
want high voltage leading (rtto the low 
voltage audio circuit. 

The Power Supply 

The PMT power supply uses the ba- 
sic switch driver coupled with a hand- 
wound toroidal step^up transformer to 
produce a home constructed 1 kV pow- 
er supply a1 a few mA. The power sup- 
ply application was covered in detail in 
the August 1990 column. {Ed. noiB: 
See the May 1991 Updates section for 
ihesch&mBtk:.}\n that application, a 24 
volt center-tapped transformer was 
used, driving tt backwards, which 
made the primary the ItQ volt AC out- 
put. Depending on the current rating of 
the 24 voH winding, you oould obtain 
1 00 or so watts of power at 1 1 volts AC 
f rom Ih is simple system. In our applica- 
tion, the 24 volt transformer is replaced 
with a home-wound torotd step-up 
transformer. 

The construction of a power supply 
meeting the PMT's voltage require- 
ments fit wet! with the FET switcher 



design What was desired was a sys- 
tem to operate from 12 volts for 
portable operation. Construction On a 
step-up transformer was started by 
winding a ferrite bobbin (cup core 
transformer). The cup core type was 
selected due to the ease of winding a 
high number of turns required for jhe 
secondary. The secondary was wound 
by hand, and a very smalt transfom>ef 
resuHed, By using a ferrite cup core 
transformer, the entire unit can be con- 
structed in a very small contair^er. 

The ferrite bobbin/core can be or- 
dered new or obtained in surplus. The 
transformer construction uses a single 
ferrite cup core that is about an inch 
and a half in diameter and an inch high. 
ThB cup core transtonner is construct- 
ed of two identical ferrite halves that sit 
on top of each other and contain an 
iniafnal plastic ttobbin. This botibin is 
removed to facilitate rapid winding. 
Compared to a toroid. the bobbin can 
be more easily wound. 

The bobbin (transformer) is very sim- 
itar to a sewing machine bobbin. I was 
abfe to wind a primary of 54 turns cen- 
ter-tapped #24 gauge wire with a layer 
of insulating Mylar and transformer 
tape (to isolate the primary from sec- 
ondary) in aboyt three minutes. The 
secondary required about 1800 turns 
of #36 gauge wire to obtain the 1 kV 
needed for Ihe PMT. A small gauge 



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73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 199 1 63 



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Figure 3. Scfiematic di&gram of a $3t PMT, showmg resistor nefyvork srtd high 
voitsg&. 



wire is used for the secondary, since 
the PMT' s currant there is only 1 to 2 
mA, The wire gauge is not critical. 

In the mitial lest transformer, I 
scf amble-wound the secondary in on© 
large coit. I have to admit I lost count 
several limes on the exact numder of 
turns, but it was close to \ 800, Normal' 
ly \ would have raid a layer of (ape every 
200 lurns or so to give voltage flash- 
over protection on the secondary, but I 
didn't do this to the that transformer. 

The enamel wire should be good to 1 
kV, but why push il as I d^d with the 
prototype? When finished i had pfenty 
of room for the six or so layers of Mylar 
insuiattng tape, which would hold 
voltage io lower limits m each separat* 
ed winding bundle. Other insulating 
material can be used. 



It, as it can draw quite an a re that I don't 
wish to be near. Just use good insula- 
tion procedures and good construction 
techniques, and keep you hands out of 
rl when il is on. Can't say ft enough: 
SAFETY FIRST. 

Mailbox 

Joe Foss USN on the SS Cfevefand 
writes that he found 3n old copy of 73 m 
Subic Bay RP. He enjoyed the artrcle 
covering the 30 MHz IF amplifier used 
in t^e receiver for 10 GH^ microwave 
wideband FM, He wanted to byild one* 
but knew that Radio Shack doesn't 
stock the main ingredient — the TDA- 
7CI00 Chip. Well, Joe, the chip comes 
with the kil along with a few oiher pans 
that I can muster up to help defray 
costs. It's amazing how many of these 



Once the transformer was complet- 
ed, I found that due to an en^or in wind- 
ing (turns ratio) I had too much output 
voltage for a cufrer>t draw at 2 mA. I 
cou^d have opened up the transformer 
and removed turns, but I decided it 
would be better to put a voltage regula- 
tor in I he switching input circuit, and 
regulate the DC voltage. This way I 
could set the output voltage to com^ 
pensate during te$t evaluations for dif- 
ferent type Gfi tubes. A minor vanation, 
but part of the prototyping game. 

AJI thai was required was an LM317 
adjustable voltage regulator. I set the 
voltage to the 9 to 10 volt range for 
input to the switcher and obtained 1 kV 
output with ease. A small pot controlled 
the DC regulated voltage. The LM317 
required a heat sink, as il was passing 
3 half amp of current at 1 2 volts for this 
drouEt but that's a small price to pay 
for such easy voltage control. I ran the 
prototype for three hours, arnj il did not 
fatter. I did detect some transformer 
heating, but this was slight, as with the 
switching FETs. I am always suspi- 
cious of something that works the first 
time* 

NOTE: Use caution with this power 
supply, as it can deliver a lethal jottf 
Always keep safety in mind wtwn work* 
ing with high voltage. Do not thmk that 
just because it provides only a small 
current il is r>ol serious, THINK AGAIN! 
If you need proof » this baby will provide 



simple kits have surfacad on the mn 
crowave t)ands since the first articla 
went out, I stili use mine, and it did not 
have a PC board, bemg the prototype. 
Cost of the kit is still SI postpaid. 

Steve Caesar KFBLW is planning 
several microwave beacons using sim- 
ple keyed CW oscillators for the bands 
450 MHz and up (ihe 70cm, 35cm. and 
23cm ham bands). 1 supplied a beacon 
CW IDer for the pmject- 

Junji Tamura JHIMNOY obtained a 
phase-locked bnck from me and re- 
ports fl arrived safely in Japan, He was 
very happy to find some 3MA connec- 
tors and voltage regulators in the pack- 
age. These are difficult to get in Japan, 
he says. When Junji completes the 
negative 20 volt power supply, the 
brick oscillator will be tested in the lab 
at the Japan Amateur Radio League. I 
sal Ihe brick up for 1 0.0040 GHz to use 
with a 430 MH2 SSB radio for operation 
on 10,475 GHz. Iheir portion of the 
band, 

I am gathering components for a 
weather satellite receiver operating 
on 1691 f^Hz, and i'li report on that 
when lime permits, As always I will 
be gJad to answer questions concern- 
ing microwave or related topics. 
Please include postage (SASE) for a 
prompt reply. Those wlthoul return 
postage will go unanswered, but may 
be answered in the column. Best 73s, 
Chuck WB6IGP. 




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64 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 199 1 



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Micro ATV Transmitter 

See the above article in the July '91 
Issuei pa?^ 9- Although the Micro ATV 
Transmitter wiJI work as shown in the arti- 
cle, there are a couple of changes that will 
improve its performance. There is one er- 
ror in the original schematic. As shown in 
the original article, the video clamping cir- 
cuit will not function. This could cairse 
sync loss (an unstable pi dure) during wide 
variations of scene tJ I u mi nation. To cor- 
rect this, note the new iocation of the 1k 
resistor R9 {see Figure 1). Remove the 
chip resistor R9 from the bottom side of 
the circuit board and add a standard Ik, 
HW resistor to the top sidt. This new re- 
sistor R9 shouid go from the junction of 
diode Dl and potentiometer R8 to ground 
(see the new parts placement diagram- 
Figure 2). 

Note that the polarity of capacitor C7 
was reversed in the original parts place- 
ment diagram. The correct configuration 
is shown here in Figure 2. Also when using 
the corrected circLiit, you should increase 
the vaJue of capacitor C7 to 100 pF with 
a 10 volt rating. Mouser part# 140- 
MLRlOVlOO is recommended forC7. One 
final note: when installing the MRF-911 
transistor, make sure that the coileclor 
lead points towards the RF out connec- 
tion, 




Figure 1. Corrected schematic for the 
Micro A TV Transmitter, Note new place- 
ment of R9. 




WOTS 
POLA.niTV 

change: 



JJEW ■ VEDEO IN 
3tb] LOCATION 




Figure 2. Correct parts piacement for the 
Micro ATV Transmitter. Remove chip re- 
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Several modets are avaiEable and are s^oftware configurable to support up to 3 Repeaters, 5 
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CIRCLE 264 ON READER SERVICE CARD 



7$ Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 65 




Number 20 on your Feedback card 



FECIAL EVENTS 

Ham Doings Around the World 



Uslings ar& free of charge as space permits. Pf&3se send us your Speciaf 
Everyf two months in advance of the issue you want if to appear in. For 
exampie, tfyou want ft to appear m the January issue, we should receive it by 
October 3i, Provide a ctesr. conase summary of the essential detsiis about 
your Spectaf Event. Check /HAMFESTS on our BBS (603-525-4438) for 
listings that were too fate to get into publication. 



AUG 3 



CAMILLUS.ITY VE Exams wl be heJdaitf« Town <3f 
CvfiHui Municipai Buiiding bogmning ot 7 Phi. Test 
tee rdf Technician through Extra \% &5.2S. Talk-in on 
147.300 Pl«ise bnng two fonn? o' ID and a copy of 
^ist license CcKitaci J^n Pttctttn KB2ERJ, (31^ 
487-0299. 



AUGS 



HANCOCK^ Ml The Ctipp&r Gouniry Radio Amateur 
As^sn.. Inc. will host (he I99ii Upper pQHilnsulg Hamfest 
It the HoyghlDn County Arena A banqusl will be hetd 
Sal. eve st the Ramada \t^f^ in Houghton. lollQwIng the 
Hvnlni, For info on ^m* can (90^ 3IT^S^7. or 
write m How»ttiO. JvsAtn MlffRNf , Pubiicfty CoarxM-^ 
tiMot. Coppee Cmintrf MA. PO Bom 217. DoMm 
B^m49S22, 



RMloCompulerShc 



AUG 3-* 



HnK Umaiei^ Radio dite dl 

Wi COROne fnORS V) 

■ ' OTTfown pTime Ostem 
Cmwmn Cvim. onnp mjm. FCC Ex^ns and 
Auction wfir be hefcf on Bm Wmteion S5 fteserve*) 
wti^i iaDl<ss are St 5 kr the weticend. fn set up is 2-7 
PM, Sat seiLp is 7-9 AM Open for ihe garwraf puWic 
front 9 AM-5 PM Sal., m& 9 AM-3 PU SiJd. To order 
advince tickets, send an SASE wilfi payment to 
Breater Jack$6nvi}h Amttfur fi^^to § Compitter 
BftoWt PO Box f06i3, JmksofivHh ft 3Si67. Swap 
Iabl0& may be ordered via PO Bom ftS82. Jack- 
§&n^Hh Fi S2239 For exhibitor info write PO Sox 
9673, JMcksonviiis FL 32203. 



AUG 4 



CROOKED LAKE IN Ifm Second annual Land of 
LtfA» Angda Hamtesi (Ml be l^aktat SlMioi Coip^ 
444 Plrfc ftom § Ali-Z PM Cvnpnt anMilt. Ftae 
partung. MMi^ VEEmtt Advinct ticfc«i$ $1|4 d 
\m doof Tatite dofp S5: mmk sHes S£ Cdftact 
LMntS o( LMims Angola Hjmie^. POBoxSm, Frr^ 
montm 46737. 

PGEnOttE^ IL Tfie Hamle^ff Ridk? CMi, Inc «■ 
qnnsof metr 57»i H^testX^oiiiputif F«96^ it the 
Wl County Faifgrounds Irom € AU-^ PM Ovemigi 
pariiinQ Set-up Sat S1€ plug-in fee by Faif^ound 
Exfiibits open at 8 AM. Advance tenets Si, 15 ai the 
9aie, under 12 years free. TaDc^m on 146.52 and 
146.76- Contact Qivid f. Bmef NP9fi, 7S2B W. 
tmh PiaCi. Woftti IL 6Q4i2. {708} 443-9432, 



AUG 10 



LOS ALTOS HILLS. CA The Porham Foundation will 
iponsoj an Electnonics Flea Mafkei at Foothill College 
Parking Loi "C". Sefers SIQ per vehicle 12 spaoesji; 
l^yef^ free CaM {498} £55-9000 fdf E«am utio Tak^ 
on 144.67/145^7 MHi SPECS tvpeater. Campus 
parting nries areenlEnadf Ptoftse par^ legaiy, 



BEWD.Ofl T^t*jACK 
Dy Central Qregod Hadto AmMiyra. wi be Nald in- 
doora « Ut Badielor StfR^ Lodge Injm t Aai-4 PU. 
2 mmm tSEtiiA VEC E^ams, commaioal eadiUi. 
Advance tidsa(£S5, S7 aj the dov, Flsi lAertaet s^ura 
C ilD tiNi Table Re§£fvaiiDnf tiquved O wn aj ^i 
MM lor aaWcttdancd RVs No hooh-i^B » ttnt^ 
PreregfslTalian deadline is June 30ih Tanc-in on 
UTJmhmoi. Cdntwi Jtet UMMrf MTVOS, PO 
Box S06, Sistm QR977S9. (Se^S49'&480. 



AUG 10' 



HUNTSVtilE. AL Munisvitle Hamlesi 1991 will be 
held at the Von Braun Civic Center Round-the-doclt 
security provided. Frae elsctncily in aac:h bootli. 
Hunlsvilie HiltaTi directly across the street. Contact 
tiijfjtsviHe H&mtest, inc., 2&04 S. Memoriai PJhty.* 
PHfmtvmtAL35SOt. 

AHARILLO, T% The Pantiandte ARC Ml sponsor 
the PARC Golden Spfiead i-fafnfe«l Tenets $3 in 
advance. $7 at Ihe door Tstjies 15 VE Exams oolti 
days Wheelchair acc«ssibia Tttk^n on ^46.920, 
^46M) and 14€ 670 Oortim PJLR.C., PO Box 
IS24 Am&rm TX 79t&S, or a§ Trof Aeno, (VOf 
3U-S906. 



AUG 11 



ST. CLOUD, MN TneSLDoudAACtteiiBSiMibt 
iMld H Itit VAiktfy Senor CinMf on NorflM^ Df . 
Oona^ S4 Talk-m 34^ pdrnary: 6i5;Oi& sec- 
ondary Cont^ SCA8C, Bom t4t St. Ooud mi 
56302 

WAAHtNGTON. PA The Mid^Ailanttc ARC HamlesI 



«i be heM ai me Bycis Ctwntr Dt^w-lh ThaafeSf on 
t^6li Sei-up as 7 AM- General admisskin it 8 AM 
Admission $1: $£ for gach taigne ifMCt, TalNn on 
T47 6& 06 and T46 52 Contad Mf Mml^ W30B 
(215} 44S-4936 

PAULdJNG, OH The Paulding County AR Omup and 
Modern Woodmen ot Amer^ Ins. Co. will oo-sponsci 
a Hamlfisi ai Paulding County Fair Grounds beginning 
ai a AM. To register lor LjDfinse E«ams, send on SASE 
and a check tor S5 25 payable to Bot} Htgh, 12$3i 
Tomiimsof} Rd., Rockford OH 4S832. For Flea Mar- 
ket into contact Alkn Heffe, {419} 2^*3093. or Jerry 
mofk9, ftft 2 Sox tsi2, PaufHitig OH 45879, {419} 

C£0ARRAP1I>S.1A Ceds Vdley ARC wU fiponsof 
tf« Cedaf Raptcte Sifmrner^st at Teamittrt' Hitf, 
SOOOiSl SW.VE Exams FfKltigitt^CQaHniroal 
e^rt3it& AdiRissionS4M1liBdoor.TaUaitl2iiri|pi)^ 
er, f to wjfhou. Td rvsefw t^)l«s. tend in SASE trth 
efiedt payable to CVARC. c/o ¥. WSecx KmGm, 
AmSii9 LMndkW. CaSMf^pkh iA 52*0* Tait-tfl 
on 146 7451 



AUG 17-18 



BREWSTEF, NY PEftRL. Tfie Putnam Ertwigency 
and Airaiei/r Repeater league, wifl hold 
"PEARLFEST" at \\Vi John F Kennedy ElemerJiray 
School on Foggintown Rd. VE E<ams. Commerciai 
ExIilbitB. Fox-hunts, ARAL table Admission t4. Dealer 
tables. $10 In advance. Tailgatera 17 Tilk^in on 
14S.13S -600. Contact Jo&t Rafip»f>Oft WA2AWG, 
Box 2iS. RR2. No. White Rock R<f., Hoinm NY 
12531. f9t4}855-S§72. 

ITHACA . NV The Tompkins Gouniy ARC is present- 
bng Ihe Fur^ger Lakes. Kamte^ and Cmpttmleai ot\ 

Sat. August V7. 1991, at the New Yodc State Annory. 
Ithaca^ NY Vendors wl be crflerwi^ MCh n«w and used 
a qt^ praa m . and there wl be a targe pawed iaanarlat 
area VE testing cs avaflabie tiy pfiereg^aiiiorT Send 
6lOfonnilot^K2V,PO Sen 4704. MhaeaKY 14852. 
i«i3natfwvic«»S44thedoor tinder 1S 

lndoorMi»$&.i3iidciarspac«»,$2 Bre^iast 
and Itfieh «H be aerrcd. indoor ipaon sho^ be 
navwdvidpakflvbf Ji^li NY Arttiy Naiionai 
Guard aqufment diq]t^. For rnore mflnmatlon an- 
maHomBsytf. H2f$U, T.CA.R.C., P.Q. Bqx 4I44. 
mme*rMYl4S52'4t44. 

SHREVEPORT/BOSSIEH CITY. LA The Shreveport 
ARA will spon^r a Hamlest at the Bossier City Civic 
Center. Astronaut Steve Nagel fISRAW. STS-37, will 
be guest spealter. AdmisBion S3 Talk-m on 147 03/ 
63 Contact Ric CrQuch N5Q¥L 3201 KftigM St., 
Apt. 2S0S, Shrevtf>on LA 7t 105. {313} 855^313. 

MOBILE, AL The Mobile ARC will Sponsor a Hamtest 
BH Abba Shrine Temple Irom fi AM-4pMSat,, and irom 
« AII-3 PM Son Adnmvon £3, ladieitt«« Tables$iS 
(^a«ilable.pre-regi9teradoniyJi ^Eiajn^Sun ai 
iAM Bring rvm^lD's^^ phololphsdriginilloiniaand 
Oopy. and $S2S Contact H4GII Tai(-ift on 14€ ^ 
^.ccmaMme,POBoM93rs,mbmML3§^fv 
JmaP»r§mmfi4MPL,(^5}m-m74,PM. 



AUG 18 



TOWSOM.HO Ttig M»^A|^ Ml Sponsor a Havn- 
Int il in ToikKMi Uoose Ux^. Admomin S3, tai- 
ping IS, \nm taUes $iQ Doers open ai B AU. 
Talh-in on 224 12. 224 16. 145,13, 145.33 tepafltan. 
Contact mck H3HtA, {^1} 5T4-3m eiws 

Q4JINCY. IL The Sixth annual TrvSlalies Swapfest 

{ARRL approved) will be sponsored by the Wesiern 
Illinois ARC. and hatd at 3737 H Sth St., t mile N of LIS 
Z4 and N Sth , Irom 8 AM-3 PM . Advance tickets $2. 50 , 
$3a1 Ihe door. VE Exams, XYL attlvltles. ARRl table. 
TaH^-in on 147 63/03 and i4fi34/.94 Contact Jim 
Punk fi9JP, c/0 WIAffC, PO Box 3132, Qaincy IL 
S2W. {2l7)SS$^t9l of^t^m-mt. 

ELGIN, IL The annual T.CAG.FEST.ipon9orad by 
ihi Tn-County Radio Gfoup jnc . will be hedd at Elgo; 
Vf^ Po$l ^t3Q7 ^m a AM-3 PM Set^Jp Croni 7-% 
AM Advance bcfcete $4, S& ai the deor. Ra j ^ad 
ttl}ies se. ^TO 31 ttie dcxK TaigMa vsce SS To raps- 
tar, tend an SASE w^ diode or IOip r.C.R.a.c/0 
g4» WNlrrilfw mKSP, fl»ff A 31, Aigon^um tL 
«1«lf7»rj£5»-^ftA^lorK«ii U-Sat mAI#-T 
PM est Ttt^ VI 443i^ {114 J PU. U7J22S * 
11072 PL* 

CAMBmOGE, MA The MFT Electromci Raseercfi 
Society the Mfniadtf) Sodety and the Harvard wire- 
less Club wil co-sportsof a Flea Market from 9 AM-5 
PM at Albany and Main Sl Admi^ion is Si BO Free 
oft-^treet pe^rtt^ng. Sellers SS per space at the gate. S5 
in advance (mciudes \ admission] Set-up at 7 AM. 



Covarad lalgM mt. Cotaci ^17} 2S3-37T0. For 
d/kmm rassnilions tnila eteoQ pay^te to Mff 
AidbSadM^and nul «#i an SASE befiive A4ig. 5lh 
to W1G$L. PO 8OM 82 mr BR., Cmbrktga ttA 

02133. Talk in on 146.S2 and 44^.725^ 4M 725~PL 
2A-W1XMr9pe«»r, 



AUG 22-24 



BLACKSBUftG, VA Personal CompLJier inlertac- 
ing-Practbcal Instruniont Automaiion, F^etworkir^g and 
Control Techniques. A SniJay hands-on wofKshop. 
iDonfact Of. Roy Jon«, (703} 231-5242, ot (703) 
231-0473. 



AUG 23-?S 



SAQdlAWr.MI Tnet^ai ARfB.NaliOEiaiC<mv«f«on 
ml be held at the Sagnaur t»m C^n^. Advanee 
^day gsneral ac*ninion ftABli aie S7. $1 at the door 
For lod^ m» w« i on » leMSa per ragrt} cal t- 
000^444-9979 C^{Sf 7} 7a2-0S9kMCm^iagim. 
Mate c^iacks payaliie to 1901 AttPL C&nvetftm 
€ommmmtmio C miipif^fkgBimtkm,POB^ 
1733, Sjgfnmm40mS't7S3 Reserwe Flea Madwt 
tables 1S15 each) by cahng (517} 8^-347$. Make 
cfiaOB or morey orders pay^ to t^t MRRL Con- 
vtfition Commrfref Mailing address Conve/jrjrojr 
Pre-Heg^fntioff, PO Box 1783. S^^fftMm m 4060^ 
1733^ It registratron wiifi SASE is received befoi^ Ju*y 
4th, ttie 3-day tickets wilt be mailed to tt^e ap-plJtani 
Tickets rftque^is received July 5th-Aug. Ifitfi will be 
held lof pick up. Aduancs registration closes on Aug. 
16th. 



AUG 25 



FORI WAYNE, IN The Summit City Hamfest, spon- 
sored t>y Ihe Foft Wayne RC, will be held at the 4^H 
Faa^Qwda on Gamiii Rd . Irom 8 AM-^ PM Fi«e 
partang. THi^ilng 17 Flea Maiia SeHip at 6 am 
J^^iranr^ tidDrti 13, $& « Ihi doiy. Udi tfider 1 2 inee 
Reserved table & dair n opeft ar buiting « HO; in air 
oondiciw] biik^, US Cdniact Fm^ Mmor^. 
PO Bta 15127, Fvt Wwfm m 46815. {219} 400- 
2&L Taii-Aon 146 16/ TSk 449 a7SM44.87§ AlBai 
Martari iDiUfwatiyii nburia one adn»sion tid«t to a 
majJffliiin of dvac Kkau. 

ST.CHAnL^,llN> TheSLChariavARCwiaptm- 
sor HAMFEST9t m Btancftette Park from 630 AM-3 
PM. Ftifu^s and License Ejams ff AM) Free admis- 
sion and parking. Handicafiped parkir>g available. Fee 
for Rea Market space Talk-in on 141.67 and 444 65 
repeaters and t46.52 simplex Contact John Lefin- 
tioff mnUI, 155 Brent wooil. St. Charles MO 
033Q3. Phone {314} $28-25 W after 5 PM. 

LEBANON, TH The Short Mountain Repeater Ciuh 
will sponsor an Ok/tdoor Hamfest from 7 AM-3 PM at 
Cedars at Lebanon State Parti, tJS Hi9tiiway 231 , sev- 
en miles south of 1-*0 Exhitotors bong your own ta- 
bles Space avaiaute on Sril come. 'Qrsi served Ian. 
Freeadmieaioit Tadk-m on 146 Jl Gontact iiifr Aflcf 
pAnmryg KA4GS8 493S Omabf Ot., AtoifHIJr TH 
37211. {815} 332-4215, 

IIARYS¥IUE,ON TMyrKiiCdV%ARC«ilp«i^ 
sor die livysilto HwteMConpiAer Show at the liir- 
yonTds in Maryivile sarttng at € AM Free o^ecniglt 
camping wihfteeanlaaMn«« 00 SaLew ^SPII. 
SeNjponSrt-linoQn Adniasieii S3. ICC Ex&n$ « 
tflewriiMk^oniyl The wofU^moui HAACAM 
VAN w« be on tf^ilBy in tfie Mefchams Buiduia No 
advanoi liduftl vendor spacesare S£ for a 10' space. 
Contact Garf4 Kfrhy WBBJN, 13813 US 35. 
HUrysvtite OH 43040 or call {614} 251-3871 dtoya; 
(513)644-0458 eves. 



AUG 31 -SEP 1 



ALAMORORDO, NM The Alamogordo ARC will 
present ]hm Sev&nlft annual Hamtest on Labor Pay 
weekend at Itw OtefO County Fairgrounds frorn 8 AM- 
5 PM Sat ; 8 AM- 2 PM Sun RV padting tot self con- 
tained vefudes Admiss>ion and parting are tree Ta° 
btes and booths available on a t^rs^oonveb^is taiJt-in 
is on 146% VfCEitaimwfl be held at i2nodn on 
SM: § AM on Stf^ Contact Utry Moon WASUm, 
iOSO Cone aelBmtClmo,JUanogprthNM 583 fit- 
4717. (5tS} 437-0145. 



SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS 



AUG 1-4 



GRAND HAV£f4. Ml In confuncft^^ •' - -^ ^^^^ 
Coast Guard Fe^t^Yai. the North Ottawa ARC wiH oper- 
ate SE Station KEBOL trcm ^6Q0Z-^W00Z Frequen- 
cies: 7. 225/. 250, T4.25O/.30O. 28.400^450. For certlfl- 
catti, sei^ QSL card or equivsJem with an SASE td 



KEiOt^ tOlSHmamt, Cr*n^HtwnMf4Ml7. 



AUG 7-4 



ST. LOUIS, MO fouthnHi? ' istJie theme 

of specral event siaiions operating (torn Ifir^ locations 
from 000 1 ZAug. 3rd [Friday e w , Aug. 2nd , local time) 
unM 2359Z Aug, 4th Sammy Garrett AA0CR {t99l 
Westlmk Report Young Hajn ot llie Year) will operate 
from SI. Locis MO; Mary Alestfa KB2IGG (1990 Wesl- 
hnk Report Young Ham of the Year) will operate Irom 
Mew York City: Darrel Craig KK6SB, will operate from 
FuNeiloi CA. For OSL Irom any sialion. serid QSL and 
contaci numbei wittr a legal size SASE to 
AAOCR, PO Box $332. $1 Loiiis MO 53i34. For a 
i^enrticate tor contacting all 9nree staUons, send 3 
G^Ls and 3 ciontad nunrtjars wrth a 9a12 SASE Fre- 
quanora: GeneiiiNoiiiCS pomtA <A 40, 20, 17, 15 
aDdlOHIIfriwrttCW). 



AUGimn 



BAFB^EGAT UGHT, l*J " " Tiey ARC «« 

oper.-^'pSsaamWZOBt.^;. ; .« 230DLrTC Sat 
and. oMnHNiionriljgMtaieeDay Ffe- 
guanties CW-71>40, 14040. 2104C, ^040; S5S- 
7275, 14290. 2t39D. 2i3M; 146 835 repealef 1 46 52 
simplex. OSL via Jo€ Fltt^ingtr HiJ2F, 75 Joshua 
Dr., t^nahawkh tiJ 0SO50. 



AUG 14-16 



BRIDGE WATER , N J The SoJnerset County Office ol 
Emergency Managerneni will operate WC2ADK 1400- 
01002 each day to promPte Amateur Radio, 
R.A.C.E.S. and Public Service at the annual 4^H Fair. 
HF on lower 25 kHz of 3«netal 80- tO meteTs. packet, 
ATV: visrtoraon US 32 simplex. Send QSL and SASE 
10 Somanet Coitrtty 0BW4H, PO Box 3000* 



AUG 16-18 



YOftKTOHW.VA Tr^Scotr^fTiP^wisdaAHKlub 
wlopeialeNIXZRbalMen 1400Zand2200ZonAug 
1 6, 1 7 and 11, io amaanoftti iM 300l!t s«i«9^ 
^lim FomiDg (rf YofUpiHi VA. whw the tas^ birifll 
o< the Antencan Rawkcon Mas toiigli. Ft»ne opera- 
Hon is plafined torint€efiifrifaniQns<9f80,40.20 
Mid tS meters, as wefl as ttn Novice 10 meter phone 
aubbeffll For a c a wwa nw t i i h ie oadflteate, OSi with 
SASE to M.C. EBs. 300 Arimry Rd.. Yofktown VA 
23892. 



AUG 1 7-1 g 



VANCOUVER. WA The Clark COiinty AUC of Van 
couveriCiark County WA, wilt sponsor station W7A1A 
to help celebrate the 32nd annual Antique Aircrali 
Ftynn and Display at Evergreen Flying Field (just East 
dI Vanoou^rl Operating qimeg will be from tBOO- 
2359 LFTC Sat ; 1800-2300 UTC Sun Freqyencies" 
Lowet portion of General class part ot the 40, at, IS 
ffltter bands and on or near 38.4S5 in Ihe Novicen'ech 
portion of 10 mai8rB(OQndiiorapeniMin||. Foraoom- 
nwAjidlive ocfihate l^iowng a 1917 Jenny. SA^ 
Qtriy to CCAAC, W7AiA, PO Bei t424. ¥mic&iivef 

wir 



MANITOWOC. Wl The Ma W Cfffti l^qf 
«i «|«rale W90f( from 140&'OOOOZ bolh d^. front 
(he WW n SubRWine Codia ' 10 oNebr^e MarSane 
mm. Frequenoes 7 250, 14250. 21 KO, 20 450. 
for ee*tfficate. ler^ci OSL and an SASE to Mancorwd 
PC, PO Bom 204, MsfHl&tux m54S1-i^04. 



AUG 29 



TRANSITION NIGHT OSO PARTY for 135 CM The 

Eastern VHF/UHF Society urges amateurs to toh to^ 
galher on the 135 CM band on the eve ol Tues. Aug, 
271 h, to honor cHir 135 CM past and open out new band 
end opporlunities. Tl^is event ts to bs known as. "The 
230 QSV OSO Party '■ Phase A extends Irom 2200- 
24O0 Gf*rr Aug. 27th (Itie last lew Hours before the 
change) The entire band. 220 lo 225 MHz can be 
uaed. Ptiase B. frem D00&-44OOGMT on Aug. 2at}i. ii 
Ite lirsi 4 tours alter flia dianp, U» of Q» entire 
bwd is Ji^ned FbrooracMalnrtrucSimsand ri^es. 
fflBiar: Eisltm VHF^UNPSodrtf, Thpiaa^ J. lOrtf 
WtU 1 Mmkm Krtotf. PO Box 455, PeBma m 
03076. 



AUG3«-5£P2 



MOUNT PLEASANT. lA TtwMt Recant AiCwf 
Qoe^Tg iidifMnc during iii 42n0 aivHflr lidwcrt Od 
rtvesAeis Rainian Opanflan «■ be in tfie Oervnl 
portion of the BO-tO melef phone tiends. Oiato mem- 
bers wii monitty their 444 95 and 147.39 repeaters lor 
those attendung For a QSl send an SASE to iiave 
Schneiifer WDiSNR. 507 ¥ine, Mt Plemmnt fA 
52641-2845. 



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as 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



CBtCLE 24 ON READER SERVtCC CARO 



Rtty loop 



Number 21 on yo^r Feedback card 



Amateur Radio Teletype 



Marc L Leavey, M.D., WA3AJR 
6 Jenny Lane 
BaftimoreMD 21208 

Packet or RTTY— 
Which is Better? 

Packet, packet, packet. . .who's got 
tha packet? As one of the newer forms 
of digital communication, packet cir- 
cuits have certamiy taken amateur 
circles by storm . Look around this mag- 
azine if you doubt this fact. Neverthe- 
less, packet just might not be for every- 
one. To wit, consider this letter from 
Howard Evans W61DS, 

Howard writes, "I run a landline bui- 
ietin board named Amateur Radio 
CBCS' in Ranch o Cordova, Calif or* 
nia. . . . What interests me is the num- 
ber of users who have mentioned \n the 
message areas (both local and nation- 
al) that there seems to be a bit of disap- 
pointment regarding packet. It seems 
that the common line focuses on the 
apparent 'overload' of the packet sys- 
tems in general. 

*'ln the messages, I read comments 
about a pronounced delay in the for- 
wardrng/recefpt of packet mat!, and a 
marked comparison of RTTY to packet 
in through-put efficiency, with RTTY 
slandcng out. 

"1 have tested packet a couple of 
times and I must say I still prefer RTTY 
for general communications. I know 
the technology is in vogue, and it (s 
chic to be a packeteer, but the amount 
of cost required to set up a reasonabie 
packet station versus using a normal 
RTTY station, to me is not really justi- 
fied. Of course, this is my own opinion, 
and frequently I am at odds with the 
vast majority on issues. I just can't get 
excited about packet, even if W is the 
in-thing to do today. 

'Tor that reason, I am very disap- 
pointed at what appears to be a decline 
in active RTTY stations. Oh, I know 
they're thera, but it u^ed to be easy to 
find the critters iurking about, either 
monitoring for a call, or already en- 
gaged jn a contact. I have spent some 
time tuning around, and it does seem 
to me that the generai RTTY activity is 
dectining. I think that is our loss. 

"It is my contention that for HF com- 
munications, RTTY is the better way to 
gOf overall. And yet, more people con- 
tinue to focus on packet, oniy to reflect 
later on how 'slow' it is, and how en- 
tangled it has become in territorialism, 
intra-system bickering, and politics. 

Mm not trying to convince you of a 
particular point of view, rather I am 
trying to convey a sense of concern 
over what I perceive as an insufficient 
arrangement of priorities which has 
placed packet over RTTY," 

AM TOR Hardware 
Strong sentiments. Howard, i won- 



der how many others agree. Over the 
decade and a half this column has 
been running J have seen mar>y trends 
come and go. Wit! packet be just anoth- 
er fad, or does it have a true place in the 
scheme of things? I certainly look for- 
ward to other readers' thoughts and 
comments on this apparent schism in 
the digital worlds 

If packet has its critics, how about 
other non-Baudot forms of digital 
communication? Garry Hawkinson 
WA^RXB of Proctor, Minnesota, asks 
whether AM TOR is a software opera- 
tion using a reguiar terminal unit, or if 
other hardware is required as well. 

I guess the answer is yes, , .and 
no. One way to get onto AM TOR is with 
one of the newer multimode terminal 
units. These little wonders take care 
Of all the work of encoding and de- 
coding the various AM TOR modes, 
requiring only a dumb terminal on your 
end- We have mentioned AEA and 
Kantronics units in this column in the 
past, but other schemes are possible, 
inciuding those that move all the 
smarts for the protocol Into your com- 
puter, and rely only on the switching 
circuits of a terminal unit to complete 
the connection. 

However whatever technique you 
choose to get onto AMTOR, your trans- 
mitter and receiver have to be able to 
switch from transmit to receive and 
back again very qulckiy and cleanly. 
When using a mode which requests 
block-by-block confirmation, such as 
AMTOR or packet, efficient transmit/ 
receive switching is a must. 

One such problem was addressed in 
theJuly1990 ■ RTTY Loop," in which a 
modification for the ICOM I C-740 trans- 
ceiver was published. The transmit/re- 
ceive timing was altered, allowing for 
more efficient and accurate AMTOR 
transmissions. 

Hope this helps you sort out the al- 
phabet soup of RTTY modes. We have 
covered AMTOR in depth in the past, 
and will continue to look into it in the 
future. 

AMTOR and RTTY Bands 

Once you get on AMTOR, though, 
the question of where to find QSOs 
comes up. This puzzles William Martin 
N7EU. who writes that he has 
'*. . .been operating RTTY and 
AMTOR for about five years now, and 
wonders about the operating habits on 
this mode. Why is it most of the feliows 
seem to congregate on either 80 or 20 
meters when there is so much other 
spectrum to try? It would seem to me 
that 40, and especially 30, meters 
would be an ideal band to use during 
the daytime period of ope rat ion. Since I 
don't have an 80 meter antenna yet, 
that leaves me only 20 meters to slug it 
out trying to make a contact on these 
two modes. On 20 it seems the boys 



really get crammed into a small portion 
of the band, making it difficuit to make 
a contact. Thirty meters seems to be 
quiet most of the time, with a notable 
lack of activity on RTTY and AMTOR. 
Is it some unknown tradition that keeps 
the hams on RTTY \n a certain band, or 
are they not interested in trying some- 
thing new? Even on 10 meters, where 
you would expect some Novice to try 
RTTY, activity is nil. 

"Maybe in one of your upcoming ar- 
ticles you could respond to my ques- 
tion and encourage someof the fellows 
to try 40 and 30 meters. After all, 30 is a 
CW/RTTY exclusive band, and seems 
well suited for this purpose. Is there a 
"calling" frequency on 30 that I am 
unaware of, or is everyone out to lunch 
on this one? 

"t really enjoy the two modes, and 
find AMTOR to have a bit of an edge 
over RTTY at my power level (100 
watts) and modest dipoie antenna. I 
use the CP-1 with the MBA-TOR insert- 
ed into the back of the C-64, and find it 
quite adequate for my level of operat- 
ing with these modes, i bought these 
items used, and they are quite ade- 
quate for the beginner. 

The only disadvantage I can see is 
that this setup does not support pack- 
et. But I suspect that could be over- 
looked, considering the bargain price. 
You could always pick up a separate 
unit for packet later." 



Well, William, I would say that 
the answer to your question about 
band use can be stated in one word: 
INERTIA! Hams congregate around 
these frequencies because that's 
where they started; they have always 
been there. Why those frequencies 
were chosen has to do with conditions 
no longer applicable, like crystal 
availability and VFO stability. That they 
were chosen remains quite applicabie, 
because if you are looking for a QSO, 
you can tune where you know others 
are listening. And so the pile*up grows! 
There is nothing inherently wrong with 
staking out a new frequency, as long as 
it is in a valid RTTY band and you are 
not stomping on some net. 

This is a good question, with valid 
arguments on both sides, and I look 
forward to hearing some other readers' 
comments on the topic. 

As far as the hardware you are using, 
it is good to see that a shoestring 
system (by cost) does not have to be 
too limited. Great tips on the C-64 and 
accessories. 

Check out those garage sales and 
flea markets, folks. After all, one man's 
trash may be another's terminal. 

Drop me a note when you are on your 
terminal, or at your quill and pad. Either 
by mail, as these folks did^ or on one of 
the online services: CompuServe (ppn 
75036,2501) Or Deiphi (user name 
MARCWA3AJR). 



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73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 69 



Ne 



Illjmlwr22 an your Feedback qafd 



IV PRODUCTS 




DRAKE 

R. L. Drake's new RS world- 
band shortwave receiver lets you 
haar worid events as they happen. 
The R8 can be programmed to 
store up to 100 stations in memory 
for instant recall. A full comple- 
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computer interface capability are 



Compiled by Hope Currier 



atso buifl in. It operates in the AM, 
LSB. USB. CW, RTTY and nar- 
rowtjand FM modes. The frequen- 
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covers ail woridtsand frequencies 
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With an optional module, the R8 
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service broadcasts, and addition- 
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fWlHz. 108-1 74 MHz). 

The suggested retail price for 
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45342; (513) 866-242i, Or Circle 
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RADIO SHACK 

Radio Shack is now offering the 
Micronta* Ham Radio SWR/Pow- 
er Meter (cat. no. 19-320). This 
compact meter ts ideal for optimiz- 
ing antenna setlmgs for hand-held 
transceivers as well as mobile or 
fixed ham radios. It is specifically 
designed for use on two popular 
amateur radio bands: 2m (144 
MHz) and 70cm (440 MHz). TTie 
SWR/Power Meter*s main fea- 
Igres include: tow insertion loss, 
enabling i^ to remain connected at 
all times; wide-range accuracy 
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up to 60 watts; and a sealed die- 
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durability. 

The meter retails for $39. 95 and 




is available at Radio Shack stores 
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Center. Fort Worth TX 76102; 
(817) $90-3300. Or circle Reader 
Service No. 202. 




MFJ 

MFJ has released two new 
products: a balun box and a worid 
map clock. Mount the MFJ-912 
W9INN Balun Box outside the 

building and connect it with coax 
from your wide-range T-networic 
tuner, The MFJ-912 will convert 
the unbalanced coax to the bal- 
anced ladder-line transmission 
line, funclioning like an internal 
balun even though it's located 
away from the tuner. It retains the 
flexibility and efficiency of the lad- 
der line without bringing the line 
into the shack. 

The MFJ-110 DXers' Worid 
Map Ctock shows the time and 
date al any OTH in the world, and 



also lets you see the location of 
your contact- Easy-to-use push- 
buttons let you instantly move the 
display to a QTH in every time 
zone. The *'recair" feature in- 
stantfy moves the display back to 
tocal time. The clock shows the 
day of the week, month, date and 
year, and has an alarm. 

The MFJ*912 W9INf^ Balun Box 
is $39.95; the MFJ-1 10 World Map 
Clock is $24.95. Both come with a 
one-year unconditional guaran- 
tee. Contact MFJ Enterprises, 
inc., P.O. Box 494, Mississippi 
State MS 39762; (601) 323-5869, 
(800) 647-1 mo. FAX (601) 323- 
6551 Telex 53 4590 MFJSTKV. 
Or circle Reader Service No. 203. 




ICOM 

ICOM has announced the new 
IC-2410A/H 144 and 440 MHz 
dual'band transceiver, which in- 
cludes features such as simuNa* 
neous receive on the same band* 
microphone controllability and 
optfonal remote control. The IC- 
2410A/H is one of the smallest in 
its class: 5.5" (W) x 1 .6" (H) x 6.9'^ 
(D), and weighing just three 
pounds. In addition to receiving 
two bands simultaneously, it will 



receive two frequencies on the 
same band. 

The IC-2410A/H comes In two 
versions. The IC-24tOA puts out a 
maximum of 25 watts on both UHF 
and VHF; maximum output power 
for the IC-2410H is 45 watts on 
VHF and 35 watts on UHF. Both 
versions offer high, medium and 
k}w power settings. A variety of 
operations can be controlled with 
the HM-56 DTMF hand micro- 
phone and optional UT-55 DTMF 
encoder/decoder. 

For prices and more Inform a* 
tion. contact tCOM America, 2380 
lieth Ave. N.E., P.O. Box C- 
90029, Bellevue WA 98009-9029; 
(206) 454-^155. Or circle Reader 
Service number 209, 



GRACfUS, INC. 
Gracilis, Inc. has introduced 
the PackeTwin™ data system, a 
dual-channel PC interface card, 
integrated radio modem, and 
radio transceiver, with TCP/IP 
and AX.25 software for PC/XT/AT 
systems. Both PackeTwin chan- 
nels can operate at conventional 
speeds of 1200-9600 baud. Addi- 
tionally, one channel is capable of 
1 Mb/sec operation with existing 
56K radio modems as well as fu- 
ture higher speed developments. 
Both channels support RS-232. 
RS-422, and TTL. Radio modems 
are available for 1200^ 2400 and 
9600 bps. KA9Q^s TCP/IP system 




software is also available with the 
system for packet rvetwork appli- 
cations. 

PackeTwin prices range from 
$199 to S599, depending on the 
configuration. For more informa- 
tion, contact Gracilis, tnc, 623 
Paiace Street, Aurora IL 60506; 
(708) 897-9346 Or circle Reader 
Service No. 205. 



RAT ENTERPRISES 

RAl Enterprises has released a 
new PC software program, "Au- 
tolog Plus II." This program Is a 
unique blend of a highly sophisti- 
cated station log and a fully pro- 
grammable CW autokeyer. The 
log features four programmabfe 
on-screen time zone clocks, a 
200*year calendar, a personal 
database and a rK}tepad database 
to keep track of all personal data. 
Othef featufes include a DXCC 
database, beam headings, QSL 
tracking, custom screen coiors, 
on-screen "quick notes' *to keep 
track of frequencies and calls in a 



pile-upt a programmable tracking 
cell with sort and print functions, 
and the ability to search and modi- 
fy all log files. The only hardware 
requirements are a printer driver 
and 360K of free memory. An RS 
232 interface is provided to drive 
the positive voltage CW key input 
of a solid-stale receiver. 

"Autolog Plus 11/' including the 
interface, sells for $45 and is avail* 
able on both 5.25" and 3.5" flop- 
pies, For more information, con- 
tad RAi Enterprises. 4508 N. 48th 
Drive, Phoenix AZ 35031. Or cir- 
cle Reader Service No, 204. 



ALEXANDER BATTERIES 

Alexander Batteries is offering 
several new made-in-the-USA 
batteries for Standard HX500 
portable radios. The H26204 is a 
7.5V/500 mAh nickel-cadmium 
battery, The H2e205 is also rated 
at 7.5 VDCj but features longer 
run times and a 900 mAh capacity. 
The H26206 is 10 VDC, with a 425 
mAh capacity; the H26207 is 10 
VDC/700 mAh, Alexander's also 



has replacement batteries (or the 
ICOM BP-ea and 8P-84, and for 
Kenwood's TH-205A, TH-205AT. 
TH-215A. TH-216E, TH-315A, TH- 

415A and TH-4t5E radios. 

For prices and more informa- 
tion » contact Alexander Batteries, 
P.O. Box 1508, Mason City tA 
50401; (515) 423-3955, FAX (5 15) 
423-1644. Or circle Reader Ser- 
vice No. 207, 



70 73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 



H^RES COMMUNICATIO^S 

Hi-Res CoTTimynications has re- 
leased the KWM2 video, packed 
full of detailed information regard- 
ing almost every facet of the 
KWM2 and spotlighting world- 
renowned Collins Radio expert 
Dennis Brothers. The video be- 
gins with basic tools and equip- 
ment, then Dennis takes you 
through tune-up and operation. 



troubleshooling and repair, modi- 
fication identification and tnstaUa- 
tlon* and completa alignment. 

For the prjce and more informa- 
tion, contact Hi-Res Communica- 
tions, fnc, Floyd Sao KF8AT, 
18464 Ash Creei< Drive, Mt. 
Ciemens Ml 48044-1240: (313) 
228-1600. Or circle Reader Ser* 
vice No. 206. 



OPTOELECTRONICS 

Optoelectronics is offering a 
new, free (to peopte involved with 
radio broadcasting and reception 
from sub-audio to 3 GHz) 1 6-page 
bfochore describing the firm's 
newest hand-held and bench-top 
instruments- The brochure in- 
cludes descriptions, technical 
data and useful tips on how to use 



frequency-finding handi-coun- 
ters. universal counter-timers for 
tab and field, PC-based counters 
with Windows 3.0 for control and 
display, active preselector t^and- 
pass filters, antennas and acces- 
sories. 

Contact Optoeiectronics tnc^, 
5821 NB 14th Avenue, Fort Laud- 
erdale FL 33334; (800} 327^5912, 
(305) 771-2050. 



GIEHL ELECTRONICS 

Qiehl Electronics is offering two 

software enhancement kits, one 
for the Kenwood TS-940 and one 
for the Ten-Tec Paragon. The TS* 
940 k^t features tunable memories 
that allow you to change the fre- 
quency of a memory channel us- 
ing the main tuning knob, memory 
bank selection using the "UP" 
and "DOWN" keys, and easily- 
set kHz per revolution. The 
Paragon kit offers band registers 
that store the last-used frequency. 



mode, and filter for all bands 160 
through 10 meters; a tO-mmute 
timer that reminds you to ID your 
station, a single key band selector 
that makes QSYing fast, and 
many other enhancements. Both 
krts fnclude a new software chip, 
complete documentation, and in- 
stallation instructions. 

The kits cost $72 each, plus $3 
S & H. For more informalton, con- 
tact GieN Electronics, P.O. Box 
t833S, Cindnnati OH 45218. Or 
circle Reader Service number 20B. 



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72 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



Never Say Die 

Continued from page 4 

band and every mode, even a USA re- 
port which mentiofTs Radio Fun. 
There's 30 pages of OX news! 

About the only thing they don't seem 
to have is something along the Ibes of 
my endless editorials. Probably just as 
well. 

If s a magazine packed with interest- 
ing information, aimed at rank begin- 
ners right on through to experts, with 
the latest news and circuits for every 
special interest. 

For us to have a similar pyblicatlon 
here we'd have to have about 300 
pages of advertising. In order for the 
ham industry to support that much ad- 
vertising they'd have to sell about five 
times as much ham gear as they do 
now. And that would mean that we'd 
have to have about four times as many 
active hams buying. 

Yes, Japan is that far ahead of us. 
They're leaving us further and further 
behind in radio technology, it's a terri- 
bfe blow to American pride to be left in 
the dust, fiddling around with CW and 
AM instead of exploring the micro- 
waves. 

Many Americans have suffered 
severe inferiority attacks as we've had 
to learn about quality, just-in -time pro- 
duction and other Japanese innova- 
tions. Now it's no-code and the Lud- 
dites are at it again. 

Mini-Discs? 

Sony, apparently unable to keep 
from challenging Matsushita (and fos- 
ing). has announced a new recording 
technology, the mint-disc (MD). This 
was in response to Philips and Mat- 
sushita's Digital Compact Cassette 
(DCC) announcement in January. 

So what's all this mean to amateur 
radio? Isn't this just of interest to music 
to vers? What do we care if the Japa- 
nese come up with something to re- 
place tlie old audio cassette? It's about 
time anyway, right? 

Since analog audio will soon be as 
dead as spark, our analog voice trans- 
missions are going to be as antique as 
our beloved CW, Amateur radio is al- 
ready so far behind today's technology 
that it's more a museum exhibit of the 
past than a practical communications 
service. 

The only main drawback to digital 
audio is that it takes a much wider 
bandwidth than anaiog. Let me see 
some hands now. . .how many of you 
are prepared to get up in front of the 
group and explain the difference be- 
tween analog and digital? Hmmm, not 
many hands. I was afraid of that. 

What we do Is pick up analog audio 
with a microphone. Then we set up an 
oscillator and have it trigger on a sam- 
pling circuit. The audio on our compact 
discs (CDs) is sampled 44,1 00 times a 
second* A 16-bit byte aliows you to 
break down the sound into 65,000 
sound levels and represent each by a 
number. This makes it possible to digi- 
tize frequencies from 0-20,000 
Hz . . . up to half the sampling rate. 

For ham use we might want to cut 
down to a 6 i< Hz sampling rate, which 
would give us 0-3,000 Hz, plenty for 
ham communications, yet too wide for 
most of our ham bands. This is where 
we want to start looking for ways to 
compact the data. We don't need any- 
where near the 80 dB of dynamic range 
demanded by music, so we don't need 
music's 16-bit bytes. We can further 
cut down the data rate by using one-bit 



technology. This, Instead of giving us 
the signal level from zero to 120 dB for 
every sample, just telis us whether the 
data number is lower or higher 

Okay, okay, it's complicated and, 
unless you've been keeping up with 
electronic technology, it's confusing. I 
just wanted to give you some idea of 
what's going on , not make you a digital 
scientist. Not that all this is beyond the 
grasp of an eleven year oid. . At just 
may be beyond the grasp of the aver- 
age 59'yearoid ham who is bewildered 
atMul what a decibel actually is. 

How long do you think Congress and 
the FCC are going to consider amateur 
radio a resource worthy of using our 
incredibly valuable bands if we keep 
falling further and further behind in 
technology? When will they stop and 
consider that maybe they don't need to 
provide quite so much museum space 
for us to ins u ft and jam each other with 
our antique frequency-wasting tech- 
nologies? 

Up until about 25 years ago, ama- 
teurs were the leaders in communica- 
tions technology. We pioneered 
NBFM, SSe, SSTV, RTTY and re- 
peaters. Then everything almost com- 
pletely stopped, leaving us with a hob- 
by frozen i n t i me at a ro u nd 1 963 , Was it 
entirely a coincidence that the ARRL's 
Incentive Licensing proposal almost 
completely stopped the entry of young 
newcomers at this same time? 

The increasing complexity of home 
construction using ICs didn't help , Old- 
timers, brought up on tubes, got 
scared off by these littie gadgets and 
the enormousty complex circuits they 
could build with them. I stili fondly re- 
member buiiding rigs with 815s, 826s, 
832s and 81 3s. Sigh. 

We wifl be going digital. l!^s just a 
question of if we have to wait for the 
Japanese to pioneer it for us. And as 
we are able to get our effective band- 
widths down to a few hertz, we're going 
to find ourselves with wide open bands, 
with acres of space between con- 
tacts . , . more like 40m CW used to be 
60 years ago. When Sony Is able to 
knock out 80% of the data for hi-fi 
music and we're not able to hear the 
difference, the possibiiitles for ham 
communications quality voice are stag- 
gering. 

If there's any real interest, we can 
start encouraging the writing of techni- 
cal articles to help you cope with 
1990's technology instead of living in 
the glorious 1940's technology as most 
of you have. Do you want to know more 
about digital audio? 

Where Was Wayne? 

A couple readers noticed my ab- 
sence at the Dallas iiamfest this year. I 
was over in Sedalia (MO) at the 11th 
International Scott Jopiin Ragtime Fes- 
tival—same weekend. 

Since IVe been pretty good at keep- 
ing my love of ragtime music a secret, it 
may surprise you that I would fly to 
Kansas City and then drive to Sedalia, 
just to hear ragtime music. Four glori- 
ous days (and nights) of ragtime, 
played by the world's top ragtime per- 
formers. . . nirvana. 

It didn't hurt that two of my proteges 
were on the program this year for 
the first time. Scott Kirby, who I discov- 
ered in New Or lean s^ and Masanobu 
Ikemia, who I discovered at Sedalia 
fast year, when he was just there as an 
attendee and not on the program. This 
year they were the big hits of the festi- 
val. , .with me sitting there glowing like 
a proud papa. 



The festival drew about 350 at- 
tendees, t'll bet over a hundred of them 
played at one time or another in the 
after-hours ragtime jam sessions. .. 
which went on after the last evening 
concerts until as late as 6 am* 

Last year I missed the last two days 
of the festival and flew up Saturday 
morning to give a talk at the Dallas 
hamfest. Only a couple dozen hams 
managed to break away from the flea 
market to listen, so I figured I'd do bet- 
ter to spend my time in Sedalia this 
year. 

With two ragtime CDs already re- 
leased on my Greener Pastures label 
af>d two more in the works. . . plus sev- 
eral more planned - - the festival was a 
business investment too. 

The lack of interest in my Dallas talk 
last year means either that most hams 
have had enough of me in my editori- 
als—maybe too much— or that my 
taiks have grown dulf. Probably the iat- 
ler, When Tm giving talks to hams I 
often feel like a cheerleader trying to 
get some enthusiasm from the inmates 
of a nursing home. When I ask for a 
showing of hands on how many in the 
audience have done arrything oi inter- 
est in amateur radio, a couple hands go 
up. The others all slouch down and 
look guilty. 

I don't know what to say. It's like a 
bunch of starving peopie not quite abfe 
to touch the fabulous feast just beyond 
their reach. Have you tried OSCAR? 
RTTY? SSTV? These 20-year old tech- 
nologies are still newfangled stuff to 
many hams. Even packet is new! 
Lordy. Whatcha done on 220? 900? 
1296? 10 GHz? Maybe 50 IVIHz? They 
didn't need me as a cheerleader at Dal- 
las this year, just as a funeral director. 

One of the top American ragtime pi- 
anists is Dick Zimmerman. He's also a 
professional magician- Perhaps I 
should take some magic lessons from 
him and at least be able to entertain 
you old-timers with some magic, even 
if you don't want to hear about amateur 
radio. 

Beating the PiJe^Ups 

If you're one of the thousands of ops 
devoting the rest of your life on this 
world to adding QRM to pile-ups chas- 
ing DX, I have a suggestion for you. Are 
you interested in a sneaky way to come 
out on top of the pile-ups, time after 
time? 

Yes, f know, you already have a 
twelve-element beam and a ten kW lin- 
ear, . .but so do all your competitors. 
You need something extra to make it 
through the QRM. It s odd that you 
haven*t thought of this already, but 
then perhaps you haven't gone about 
sofving this problem creatively. Your 
use of 10,000 watts is a hint that you 
tend to try and use brute force instead 
of brains to get your way. I hate to think 
about your family relations! 

Okay, here's the edge which should 
make ai! the difference. Perhaps 
you've noticed that when you are trans- 
mitting, this tends to reduce your ability 
to hear what's happening on your 
channel. You know there are others in 
there, but you don't know exactly when 
they are transmitting or how much 
they've shifted off the frequency to try 
and be heard. You need a way to listen 
while you are talking. 

Think how great it would be to be 
able to tune in and hear what's going 
on while you're calling! You'd be able 
to shift your frequency enough to be 
heard. You'd be able to wait until just 
the right moment and both jam your 



competitors so the rare DX station 
wouldn't be able to get their call. . .and 
sandwich your own call in the instant 
they shut up. 

Now that I've told you what you need 
to do, I'm sure you're way ahead of me 
on how to do it. You need a remote 
receiver with a UHF link back. If it's a 
few mites away you'll be able to hear 
your own frequency and everything on 
it. We have enough garbage on 2m 
already, so put your intercom channel 
Lip on a higher band. You'll want to be 
able to remotely tune too. But that's 
easy with many modern receivers. 
Duck soup. 

How aliout some construction arti- 
cles on remote receiving systems? 

Some Trivia 

You might watch for "Mission of the 
Shark/' a TV movie which is planned 
for broadcast around December 7th. I 
don't know how good the movie is, but 
it was shot on my old submarine, the 
USS Drum (SS'228), where I spent the 
war. The Drum is tied up in Battleship 
Park in Mobile, right next to the Ala- 
bama , in case you're down that way. 

The movie stars Stacy Keach as 
Captain McVay, skipper of the indiana- 
poUs, and Richard Thomas (John -Boy) 
as the ship's doctor. The indianapoUs 
was sunk by a Japanese submarine 
(played by the Drum), with Japanese- 
American actors. The cruiser was re- 
turning from having delivered an atom- 
ic bomb when it was sunk. Most of the 
crew survived the sinking, but were 
subsequently fost to sharks during 
their several days in the water because 
a Navy bureaucratic blunder prevent- 
ed anyone looking for them. 

American Cars 

A couple Detroit union member read- 
ers got all upset over my put-down of 
American cars a few months ago. They 
to id me how great American cars are 
now. Glad to hear that, even though it 
goes against everything I've experi- 
enced with rentals. 

Thus it was with some interest that I 
read a report in USA Today on how 
U.S. car brands had improved their 
quality. Ford did the best, moving from 
the 1 Sth to 8th best trouble-free brand. 
Out of the top eleven most trouble-free 
1991 models, Pontiac placed 7th with 
their 6000. The other 10 were alt for- 
eign. In the trouble-free brand list the 
first seven were Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, 
Mercedes, Acura, Honda, Subaru . . 
and then Ford. You can't believe how 
distressed I am to be so wrong atx^ut 
American cars being clunkers. . and 
my Detroit readers so right. Yes, I'm 
being sarcastic. 

1 don't suppose t've gotten you to 
read The New Yorker yet. Pity. Damned 
shame. They had a very interesting se- 
ries on Chinatown recently that was 
worth reading. We seem to get mad at 
the Asians for coming over here and 
working incredibly hard to succeed. 
They aren't doing anything we can't 
do, they're just doing what we won't 
do . . . work,. 

Heck, a lot of hams are furious with 
me because I've worked so hard and 
have succeeded as a result, i was lucky 
to have good role models. My father 
worked hard, as did my grandfather, so 
it seemed normal to me. My grandfa- 
ther was one of the founders of Ciigo 
and my father heiped start the first 
trans-Atlantic airline. 

And how does this apply to amateur 
radio? Why am I bringing this up here? 
Because it's the same pattern i see in 



73 Amateur Radio Today • August^ 1991 73 



amateur radio . . .we want to buy a rig, 
put up a marrufactured t>eam and tow- 
er ami WQT^ the world. Thousands ol 
readers get mad ai me when ( suggest 
they actually learn electronic and radio 
theory. THey are ready wilh a rope 
when I sugg€>st that if they love the 
damned code so much they get good at 
it and prove it. They are starting the fire 
under the lai when I ask why they 
aren't on packet yet. Or OSCAR, Shodt 
Ihe messenger. No. Tm nol saying that 
American amateurs are a lazy, spoiled 
bunch of otd-tjmers. I would never say 
tftat You might say it. and i wouldn't 
deny it, tHJt I'm certainly not going to 
say it. 

Now, if our t^eloved and wealthy, un- 
educated and apparently unskilled De- 
troit car makers would make some ex- 
tra effort to lurn out cars without 
defects I'll be delighted to start check- 
ing my gourmet library for crow 
recipes Perhaps cooked m Ripple? 

Education 

Did you miss the Fortes aiWes on 
educalion (May 27thp Tsk. Milton 
Friedman (one of my heroes) saidt "On 
the average it costs half as much to run 
anything privately as it does govern- 
meniatly." Friedman says that our Ivy 
League colleges could cut theif tuitior^s 
in hatf and still make money if they 
were exposed to the disciplines of the 
marfcet rather than counting ypon gov- 
ernment subsidies and big private 
donors. He says "thai universities are 
muStiproduct enterprises. They pro- 
duce three major products: schooling, 
research and monuments." 

One shining success is the DeVry 
Institute of Teclinology, which pro- 
vides a better education than even 
state colleges and at half the price. 
Yes» of course state educationaJ au* 
thorities are righting DeVry at every 
turn. 

You know, if we could ever get Corv 
gress to a^low pnvate mail, we'd see 
twice as much service a I half the cost. 
I'm old enough to remember two maif 
deliveries on weekdays and one on 
Saturdays. . ,2c first class mail and 
penny postcards, 

(BM Dying? 

Several years ago I predicted that 
WM would eventually get killed by mh 
cracomputers, if you*ve b%en reading 
the b*Jsiness magazines you've tjeen 
seeing IBM losing ground at an amaz* 
ing rate It's going to get worse. 

Just as we've had a drop in the cost 
of computing of about a thousand to 
one in the iast few years, the predic- 
tions are tor a further million-fold rise in 
cost etfeciiveness within a few more 
years. To some degree IBM will be able 
to sell more of the lower priced comput- 
ers^ but there's no way triey can seH a 
million times more. 

IBM makes most ot I heir really big 
bucks leasing software. The day of the 
thfee'thousand-dollar-a-month soft- 
ware iease is going away, right along 
with the need for $10 million comput- 
ers. 

Ten years ago I had to pay SI 5,000 
for a 10 megabyte dtsk for my Prime 
minicomputer. NowlheyVe buiJding 40 
megabyte drives Into laptop portables. 

So what does this mean to amateur 
radio? It means you ain't seen nothm' 
yet when it comes to computerized 
communications. It also means there 
are going to be an enormous number of 
opportunities to make big bucks with 
these new computer systems. Small 
entrepreneurial companies are going 



to have a field day with support prod- 
ucts, running circles around the giants. 
Small companies can react mucti 
faster than big ones and dfjve them 
ban anas - 

Chip densities are moving towards 
billions of transistors on a single chip. 
That means they can put dozens of 
uftra-fast microcomputers all on one 
chip, working in tandem. This is going 
to force a similar eKpansion In commu- 
nications . We have the choree of t>eing 
spellbound, dumb bystanders... 
or plunging in and benefiting from the 
changes. 

This explosion of communications is 
going to start making frequencies more 
valuable particularly the micro- 
waves. This means, in turn^ that either 
we're up there earning our salt or we're 
going to gradually be left like our Amer- 
ican Indians, on tiny, unwanted reser- 
vations. 

Of course t if we had friends in htgh 
places, we might be able to stave off 
the inevitable. And how can we devel- 
op some friends in high pJaces? The 
^me way the big corporations who 
want our frequencies do by bribing 
Congress. We have a democracy here, 
and that means you pay or you die. For 
as little as $100 each per year to your 
senator and representative (for their re- 
election funds), you'll help assure thai 
you have a louder voice al that old ra- 
dio spectrum pork barrel than Motoro^ 
la. G.E. or Fujitsu. 

73'sTo ¥ou, Too 

Sevens and threes to ya good bud- 
dy, as the southern truck driver CBers 
put it No, you don't have to puzzle 
about where "73" came from, you jist 
pay 'tention to your old Uncle Wayne, 
and he'll put ya straight. 

It has to do with the very begmnings 
of amateur radio, away back near hun- 
neft years ago. Some of the first hams 
were old Morse ops who'd worked on 
the telegraph lines out West Out there 
a man's most precious (Xjssession was 
his gun, the good old Winchester 73, 
the gun which opened the West. The 
old ops used to end their messages 
with "I will you my 73." That got short- 
ened, In true CB style^ to "73," and 
meant "best wishes." You can tell it a 
ham is a lid if he pluralizes it. It ain't 
*'best regardses/' it^s "^TS." Now 
aren't you glad you have old Uncle 
Wayne as a living link with the 
past good buddy? 

The next thing you'll be asking me 
where "*B&" came from. Git off the 
porch and let a cranky old man atone. 
Jeeze, these danged kids. Worse* n all 
those testy old men on CW bumbling 
along in 10 wpm horsecarts in a day of 
25,000 wpm supersonic technolo- 
gy. . and complaining about the fast 
drivers, 

And while hams are fighimg to keep 
bleeping at each other on CW, technol- 
ogy is moving ahead. IrMlight phones 
in every seat are being tested on U.S. 
Air» Northwest and American Airlines. 
These phones use digital technology to 
encode the voice, plus they'll work with 
your laptop computer and even handle 
fax right there in your airline seat, 
You'll be able to make plane reserva- 
tions, page friends on the ground, get 
stock quotes, read news headlines, 
look up flight schedules and so on, 
Now tell me again about how CW can 
get through when all else fails. .1 
need to hear about thai again to retain 
my failing faith. 

Saudi Arabia 

The Arabs, not just in Saudi Arabia 
but In all Arab countries, have one 
whale of a problem. And it's a problem 
which is going to make for wars for a 
long time to come. 



If one asks tiow come the Arabs were 
way ahead in science and techrvology a 
thousand years ago and then stopped, 
I think the sad answer lies in their refh 
gion, Islam, islam is agamsl paying in- 
terest, which means that any funda* 
mentalist Moslem society will never 
heve the capital to grow, Few busi- 
nesses can get started without borrow- 
ing money, We're talking atrout a reli- 
gion which is anti-capitalist and thus 
dooms any country which t& limited by 
it to failure lust as the comnr>unist 
countries faaled. 

And as if that weren't bad enough, 
Islam is also against technology. Sci* 
ence teachers in fundamentalist Islam 
countries find they must graduate 
Moslem students, whether they know 
anything or not. A ham visiting Saudi 
Arabia reports that the Aramco Saudi 
technicians spend their days in idle 
gossip and drinking tea. When some- 
thing breaks they have to call an Arrveri- 
can &jpen/isor. 

! realize that it's blasphemous to 
question any aspect of a relpgion, even 
one which is a thousand years out of 
date and is keeping its believers in 
poverty. , .except for those families 
lucky enough to live on top of an oil 
field J 'm not suggesting that Moslems 
consider changing Islam, only that they 
stop being jealous of the wealth the 
rest of the world gains throtigh techni- 
cal education and using technology. 

If you ever wondered why almost the 
only ham contacts you've made in the 
Middle East have t^een with Ameri* 
cans^ now you know. 

I've t>een interested in the growing 
number of articles about Kuwait and 
Saudi Arabia and their medieval soci- 
eties. . which we've just spent a few 
billion dollars rescuing from an old 
friend of theirs. I'm glad we lost fewer 
Americans doing ]{ than we lose on a 
good nigh! to crack-related killings. 

I asked for some ham volunteers to 
follow our tnxips into Baghdad and set 
up some health and welfare stations. 
Several hams were feady to go, Alas, 
our troops stopped before entering 
Baghdad, a fact which Generat 
Schwartzkopf made plain was a bum- 
mer in his mind. It looks as though his- 
tory has already backed him up. Any- 
way, t was very glad to see a few hams 
willing to pitch in to help out at their 
own cost. 

Say, H yoo think Tm exaggerating 
about the hold religion has Over there, 
just remember back to the Iranian 
motra waving ti^ir fists at us on the 
evening news a few years ago. And the 
thousands of Iraqis doing ditto fast 
year. 

Free Cellular Calls 

Well free, if you don't gel caught. I 
mentioned a couple years ago that 
most crooks were using cellular 
phones with altered serial numt>ered 
identification chips. The result is free 
phone ca lis anywtiere in the wort d . 

A recent Waff Slfs&i Jatmaf artide 
tracked it ail down to a computer hack- 
er named Ken Bailey, who took a cellu- 
lar phone apart and cracked the code. 
Ken, the WSJ claimed, was circum- 
spect about It. He made bogus chips, 
but built in B security system so no one 
could make a copy of his chip and use 
it. They*d have to come to Ken for chips. 

That worked fine until Ken's comput- 
er went on the fritz one night and he 
asked a fnend. Bob Sutton, to help him 
fiK it. In the process Bob came across 
the program and, toeing no fool, ran off 
a copy, AJas. he didn't copy the securi- 
ty check, so when he began popping 
chips for others, they had no problem 
making further copies. The cellular in- 
dustry estimates they may lose around 
S600 million next year to these little 



buggers. Hmmm, Twm don't you wish 
you'd paid more attention when I told 
you to learn about computers a few 
years ago? 

For those of my readers whose 
sense of humor rotted off through dis- 
use, Vm not supportive of stealing 
phone services. But then I can't forget 
that America's wunderkind, Steve 
Jobs, got his stari in business selling 
blue boxes to steal phone services 
from Ma Bell And who's Jobs? He's 
the billionaire Apple computer alum- 
nus. If ft hadn't t>een for blue bonces and 
theft of services from Ma, we wouldn't 
have all those nice Macintoshes 
around. Who was it said crime doesn't 
pay? It wasn't the Mafia, that*s for sure. 

Zzzzzz^ . . . 

Y'ever lay there awake, your mind 
churning, wishing you could saw zees? 
What would you pay for a dose of C^ 
Doc Green's Insomnia Cure? Tell you 
what, if I give you the redpe and you 
find it works, all you owe me is one 
extra sybscription to 73. Fair enough? 

Heck, this pound of cure is so power- 
ful it'll put you to sleep in a dentist's 
walling room. I use It to whup me into 
tha l-and of Nod on airplanes . . .some- 
thing \ never used to be able to do. 
We're talking industrial strength here. 

No, it's not addictive. No, it doesn't 
have any bad side effects. No. ifs not 
hypnotism , Though that'll work 
pretty welt too. Mope, what I've got is a 
system tfiat's so simple and so incredibly 
obvioiiS that you're going to be annoyed 
that you didn't think of it yourself. 

Okay, I'll stop teasing you and let 
you in on the big secret. . ,but don't 
forget the price. Once you've learned 
how to do this and you find it works like 
magic for you. which it wtIL . .heck, it 
can't fail. . .you owe me an extra 73 
sutiscription. That means youVe going 
to find another ham and get h*m or her 
to subscrtt>e - or buy a gift subscrip- 
tion for a OX ham who can't afford one. 
If this \s too hard a bargain, please stop 
reading nghi here. A deal is a deal, 
right? 

Here's how it works. You're going to 
set up a habit pattern which will auto- 
matically put you to sleep. Yep, a sim- 
ple Pavlovian stimulus/response deal, 
if you aren't up on Pavlov, it's because 
yoy have been poorly educated. And 
don't blame the schools. youVe the 
main one responsible for your educa- 
tion, not our lousy schools. 

From now on, every time you go to 
bed at night get into the same slewing 
position. Find a comfortable position 
and use that every night. You're going 
to establish a habit You* re going to 
have your body recognize this position 
and start generating endorphins as 
soon as you assume the position. 

No, that isn't all. That's not going to 
knock you out in an airline seat where 
you can't get into that po&ilion. But IVs 
a way to gel started with training your 
mind/body to go to sleep. 

Step two IS to choose a sound lo 
repeat a few times every mght as you 
go to sleep. Pick something euphonic 
like umm, oom, ooze, ahm. easCn or 
moOn Just say it a few times as you drift 
off to sleep. Hey, this isn't going to 
work if you try to use it to get to sleep 
when you are keyed up. Start breaking 
in the system when you are tired and 
will naturally 90 to sleep. We're buikd- 
ing a habit pattern here. 

After a few weeks the c^Hnbi nation 
of falling asleep and the sound you've 
chosen as a mantra will be tied togeth- 
er and youll find that your mantra will, 
more and more, help you fall asleep, 
even in circumstances where you'd 
ordinarily find it difficult or even impos- 

®^^"^- Continumiofip.77 



74 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



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73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 75 



Numbef 20 on your Feedback eard 




INTERNATIONAL 



Amie Johnson NWAC 
103 Om Homesteaa Hwy. 
N. Swanzey NH 0343 1 

Notes from FN 4 2 

Ftefd Day has come and gone, and i 
didn 't make it to Cohmdo ftke f drd fast 
year / did get atf mvHaHon. t>ut f had to 
refuse because my schedute just 
wouidn 'I permit if, thoijgh i did make it 
to the High Country in My. 

My big ham project for the summer 
was to make my one-iegged JBOm 
diptffe into an honest tm>4eg^d f60m 
inverted vee. A very taff tree betv^en 
my house and the property nent door 
became a¥aitable for the center sop* 
port, so ^r came the bow and arrow^ 
and it happened. What a dtfferencef 

H appears that we wiU start hearing 
from Austraiia again in the near future. 
David Horsfati VKSKfU has volun- 
teered his services to bring u$ f/w news 
from Down Under. David is a memtyer 
of the WiA, and during the fast few 
years has served on Ejcecufive. He pro- 
duces the weekly bfoadcasts for tfte 
WiA (VK2 Dtvision}. Welcome. David. 
We iook forward to your contribu- 
tions.—Arnie NIBAC. 

Roundup 

Colombia TheCOlonibian Leagye of 
Radio Amateurs is sponsoring The 
Colombian Independence Day Con- 
test, The contest will be held between 
0000 and 2400 UTC on Saturday of the 
third weekend tn July (July 20. 1991). 
For further Information, contact; Liga 
Colombiana de Radioaficionados, The 
Colombian Independence Day Con- 
test. P.O. Box 5&4, Bogota, Colombia, 
South America OR see the the 73 BBS 
73 International SIG (Colombian Inde- 
pendence Day Contest), 

\nd\A VU2RG is a Siient Key. Who. 
might you ask. is VU2RG7 He was in 
the limelight for many years, but cer- 
tainly was not known for his work as a 
ham. VU2RG was Rajiv Gandhi, prime 
minister of India from 19B4 to 1989, 
grandson of Nawaharial Mehni. India's 
first prime minister, and son of Irvdira 
Gandhi, who ruted India for 15 years. 

Gandhi, leader of the poweflut Con- 
grass Party in India, was killed by a 
female suicide assassin as he was at^ 
templing to regain the position Ihat he 
liad lost in 1989. 

The National Insiilule of Amateur 
Radio (NIAR) and the Ban9ak>re Club 
Station, VU2NRJ, are sponsoring tfie 
Garden City Award, This award is con- 
tinuous after Marcti 1, 1991. and Fur- 
ther information may be received from 
NIAR-HQ at Hyderabad, by writing 
NAGESH (VUaNUD), P.O. Box 5624, 
Bangalore-5S0010, India; OR you can 
download the information from the 73 
International Sl<5 (GarcSen City Award). 

Japan From the JARL News: The 
Amateur Radio Festival , popularly 
known as Ham Fair, will be held on 



August 23. 24, and 25 this year under 
the auspices of JARL at the Tokyo In- 
ternational Trade Center Annex in 
H any mi, Tokyo, the same loc^Uon as 
last year. 

Tl^e theme this year Is 'TresherHJp 
Ham Lrfe*' and the catch-phrase is 
"Let's R>adt at Harumi under the glit- 
tering sunshine.'* A special event wili 
be "Mulli^band Know-how." Bring 
along a friend and join tn the fun aiKt 
frolic f 

Switzerland From tf>e International 
Telecommunicatkjn Union (ITIJ) Press 
Release: Tiie most recent press re- 
lease published in connection with the 
23rd World Communication Day in- 
cludes a feature by the United Nations 
Disaster Relief Office (UNDRO) on dis- 
aster pf epaf edness and relief telecom- 
munications. Included wefe the views 
of the Secretary-General of the League 
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Soci- 
eties on the need to enhance the quali- 
ty of rnfom(iation in disaster relief oper- 
atrons. 

Key issues concerned taking a criti- 
cal look at the quality, as well as the 
quantity, of informatior^, facing up to 
the general failure of disaster agencies 
to communicate adequately with disas- 
ter victims; appreciating the mass me- 
dia's involvement in disaster situations 
and ensuring that the media reflects 
the nature of disasters accurately. 

Information scientists stress six at* 
tributes of useful information: clarity , 
accuracy, significance, timeliness, ad- 
equacy, and validity. Those deattng 
with communications from disaster ar- 
eas must keep these attributes fore^ 



most In their thoughts if their informa- 
tion is to do any good. 

USSR A quick note came from Serge 
UA9SAW on some of his DXpedi- 
tlon activities. Ha mentioned two 
DXpeditions: on 6-1S September 
1909 as UL1K/UA9SAW in OBL024, 
and on 4-21 September 1990 as 
UHieUA9£AW from 081044, Please 
QSL direct; Serge P. Klyushnikov, 
UA9SAW, P.O. Sox 13, Gaj, Orenb, 
Obi.. 462630. Russia, USSR (CCCP). 

The following letter was received 
frofTi Ken Caipenler KC4UG: "1 always 
enjoy *73 International.' Sinc^ I have 
learned lo speak Russian I have made 
many friends there, and rececve a great 
daal of information atjout their ham ac- 
tivity. I plan lo attend the hamfests in 
Leningrad and Omsk in August of this 
year. (Say hetlo to Ger\e (Gennady) 
UA9MA and a// the other hams from alt 
Of us at 73. We ioved the awards he 
sent to us several years ago v^ich 
were printed in this column. ^AmieJ 

"M recerved the foiiowTng from Serge 
EKeKBZ, 4K4/UA0KB2 and UA9KB2. 

Serge operated EKCKfiZ for the Big 
Circte Dog Sled expedition in 1990. Ha 
mafle over 6.000 contacts, but only 
received 200 QSLs because he 
couldn't receive his cards via 8o)t 88 in 
Moscow. He is located in remote Cape 
Schmidt in the Arctic. 

"His card is a beautiful three-part 
QSL with scenes of the sled teams in 
the arctic, the best I have seen from the 
USSR. He wants OSLs direct with two 
IRCs or. better yet, one green stamp. 
His address is; Serge Tsybizov 
UAflKBZ, P.O. Box OX, Cape Schmidt, 
Magadan Oblast, 666830 USSR. 

*'He also sent me information about 
the Soviet call book. It has over 20,000 
addresses and more than 400 local 
Russian QSL bureau addresses. It is 
available from; Giusppe lannuzzi 
181 YW, P.O. Box 5083, 80144 Napoll, 



Italy. The cost is $6 US, postpaid air* 
maiL 

*'The mail from Russia is getting 
Slower each month, and a card via their 
bureau is almost impossible. At one 
time I was receiving mail from Russia in 
two weeks, but now it takes up to two 
months, air mail! 

''I sent Mike UA9MI an MFJ packet 
TNC last year. He and Gene UA9MA 
areon HF packet from Omsk, Western 
Siberia. They are the only ones from 
that area on packet at this time, 73, Ken 
KC4UG." 




SPAIH 

Woodson Gannaway W5KVQ/E45 

Apwiadotf 

35450 Santa Mana de Guia 

pMS Palmas de G.C.) 

tslas Cananas, Espana 

Carnaval Gadilano 

Hi to Amie and All. Paco EA7CZR 

serKis some QSL cards from the Car- 
naval da Cadiz, and an announcement 
he would like presented to our readers; 

I am Francisco Ramos EA7CZR and 
EA7FR. from the City of Cadiz, south- 
ern Spain. ['Taco*' is short for "Frart' 
dsco." — Eds.] I am enclosirtg some 
QSL cards from EDTTDP, a special call 
used during the Mardi Gras in Cadi^ 
The meaning of TOP is Tacita De Piata 
(silver cap), the nickname of Cadiz city. 

The Union de Radioaficionados de 
Cadiz, Seccion Local de fa URE, (the 
local section of the Cadiz Radio Club) 
is sponsored by the Fundacion Gadi- 
tana del Carnaval {Mardi Gras Fun da- 
lion) from the EXCMO, Ayuntamiento 
de Cadiz (City Hall of Cadiz), since 
1985. Every following year, the OMs 




,^, Fundacion Gadltana 
- ^ del Carnaval 

Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Cidiz 

ZONA CQ 14 - ITU - 37 ^ LOC. IM 66 UM 

Union de Radioaf icionados de Cadiz 
Seccion Local de la U.R£. 

Apariado 2.271 • CADIZ 11080 * ESPAftA 



ESTACION 



C0WFtf=irMf4[>0 QSO 



FECHA 



UTC 



RST 



MH2 



M000 2X 



CW*FM 
SSB 



PSE - QSL - TNX CORDIALES 73 Y DX's 



Pfjoto A. The t99l OSL card sent to contacts with EDTTDP during the Camavai Gadttano (Mardi Gras m Caoiz). 



76 73 Amaleuf Radio Today • August, 1991 



from Cadi^ have used thfs special call- 
sign on the air. 

Durmg 1 991 . we awarded the people 
who sent to us confirmation of contacts 
performed with E07TDP, during three 
consecutive years in SSB/CW or 
mixed, an engraved medaf to thank 
them for being with us every year dur- 
ing the Carnaval Gaditang^ 73^ PaCO 
EA7CZR. {Esch year's QSL has a dif- 
ferent beauiifui poster . ''—Arrtte] 




ISRAEL 

Ron Gang 4Xtfi^K 

Kfbbutz Uhm 

D. N. Manage v 85530 

fsrae! 

PACKET: 4X1I^K@4X4S¥J$R.EU 

Tech sat 1— IsraeKs First Hamsat 

AM SAT- Israel, in cooperation with 
the Tec hn tor University of Haifa and 
the Asher Institute for Space Re- 
search, is building an ainateuf radio 
sateinte. Most of those working on the 
bird are volunteers and students giving 
of their spare time in this on-going pro- 
ject to build smart satellites for the am- 
ateur radio com muni ty. 

Techsat I is to support digital store- 
and-forward communications with an 
onboard packet BBS. The bird will fly in 
a polar low-earth-orbit (LEO) approxi- 



mately 450 mifes up. Because of the 
polar orbit (similar to the Microsats), 
everyone on earth will have a shot at 
the bird. 

Two transmitters are planned for 
both telemetry and downlinking, and 
will worl< on 435 and 29 MHz. Uplink 
receivers wiil have five frequencies on 
145 MHz^ five channels on the 1260 
MHz, and yet another rive frequencies 
on 2400 MHz. As well as supporting 
PSK and FSK, the system wili have FM 
AFSK capabilities, meaning that sta- 
tions equipped with standard packet 
TNCswillbeabietoaccesstheorbiting 
BBS. (PSK, Phase Shift Keying, which 
requires a special modem on the TNC, 
is much more efficient and effective for 
hamsat packeteering, but the FM 
AFSK mode is being provided to give 
"beginners'^ a taste!) 

Hams involved in the project 
are Pel eg Laptd 4X1 GP, system de~ 
signer, 'Oved Ben Aroya 4X4LS, 
software designer, and Shlomo 
Menuhin 4X1 AS, lARC/AMSAT-IL co- 
ordinator. 

Launch is planned for 1993 on an 
Ariane rocket, A scientific experiment, 
possibly in radio navigation, is also in- 
tended. Work at the present is still in 
the planning stage, but is reported to 
be in high gear. Wishes of Godspeed to 
the folks at the Tech n ion University 
working on the project, with the hope 
that they will be successful in providing 
the interoational amateur community 
with another reliable hamsat. 



Never Say Die 

Continued from p. 74 

Pavlov rang a beli every time he fed 
his dogs. After a while he found that 
just ringing the bell started their diges- 
tive juices flowing. So why not us© this 
mechanism to help you go to sleep? It 
works! And it doesn't take very Eong to 
build this new and helpful habit pat- 
tern. There's no downside to this* 

I used to hate long airline trips be- 
cause rd sit there wanting to sleep 
and just sit there hating every minute 
of it. Now I can doze off in seconds 
and wake up an hour iater refreshed - 
Yes, I suppose I cheat a little. I do take 
along a sleeping mask to block out the 
bright lights or the movie. And I put in 
a pair of those foam yeilow ear plugs 
to cut down the noise from the people 
talking across the aisle. And f take 
along an inflatable pillow that goes 
around my neck, The whoie works fits 
into a small bag which I carry on with 
my laptop computer and reading ma- 
tehaL The pillows are sold through 
several mail order houses for a few 
bucks and they work beautifully. I 
have the same travel package in my 
van so I can grab a few zees on trips. 
No, Tmnot driving. 

Most of us are able to get to sleep 
most of the lime without any great 
problems. But every now and then we 
find that our mind is racing and we just 
lay there twisting and turninQ. This 
can be particularly frustrating if 
you've got an important day ahead 
and you reaily need that sleep. 



Start buifding your sleep habit pat- 
tern so it'll be there when you need it. 
i've been taking afternoon naps for 
years. I find they make it possible tor 
me to work smarter and harder late 
into the evening. This zonking system 
is priceless forgetting me to sleep in a 
few seconds when I take a nap. I as- 
sume the position, say the word, and 
I'm out for almost exactly one hour. 

By the way, you can train youfsetf to 
sleep exactly as long as you want too. 
The mind has an amazing ability to 
keep track of time. It works on a sub- 
conscious level. When I go to sleep J 
decide when I want to wake up, . .45 
minutes, an hour, . .and bingo, I'm 
awake. . .usually within the exact 
minute. It works for long naps too. 
Whe n I have to be up at a specif c ti m e 
and set my alarm, I almost always 
wake up about a ha^f minute before 
the alarm goes off. 

Now much sleep should you get? 
That*s a habit too. Some people get 
along fine on f ou r or five hou rs . 0th e rs 
are habituated to eight to ten hours. 
Tve got too much I want to do to waste 
time sleeping that isn't n ceded . so I 
generally go about five hours at night 
and one in the afternoon. Works for 
me. 

Try my system and it*ll work. Then 
start looking for a ham or prospective 
ham who needs a monthly shot of en- 
thusiasm and get him (or her) to sub- 
scribe to 73. 1 positively refuse to get 
upset if you find this so helpful that 
you feel obliged to wrestle up two sub- 
scriptions. 




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73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 77 



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Keep on SwitcNn' 

Last month, w^ were exploring 
switches and controls. Let's finish that 
up and move on to a new topic. 

Micros witches really aren't all that 
small by today's standards, f suppose 
they must have seemed tiny compared 
to other switches when they were firs^t 
Introduced. We continue to call them 
micros witches, partly out of traditior>, 
but atso because a company cafled 
Microswiichf Inc,^ makes many of 
them. 

The distinguishing characteristics of 
a micros witch are that tt is rectangular 
and kt is opera led via a small plastic 
button near one end. Often, there is a 
lever arm mounted on the switch body, 
pemiining a smaJI force to operate the 
switch. This type of switch nmkes a 
disiinctm "click" when it is pressed, 
and another when released^ 

The internal const/uction co nsis ts of 
several strips of metal arranged to 
provide a "snap" action which pre^^9 
the contacts (o^ether. Thts action ta 
whai causes the dick. J've seen a few 
microswitches with broken strips and a 
few with burned or corroded contacts. 
It there's no click, the strip is gone. If 
you hear ihe click bul get no connec- 
tion, suspect the contacts. 

Although it is sometimes possible to 
break a switch open and clean burned 
con tacts I jt really isn*t worth it. These 
switches are nearly all of one or two 
designs, and are easily replaced, in 
fact. Radio Shack sells two versions. 
Andp of course, the mail order outlets 
have them. Don't waste your time — get 
a new switch! 

You're Relay Switching Now 

Relays, of course, are fust magnetir 
caHy operated switches. In my experi* 
ence, they are amor>g the mosttfoutHe- 
prone switching devices Of all. 
Although coils can open now and ther>, 
the usual pmblem is poor connection 
at the switching contacts. The tech- 
niques lor generaJ contact cleaning I 
discussed last month appty here as 
wefl. Also, try soaking a piece of paper 
in contact c leaner {not the corrosive 
acidic kind} and pulling it between the 
contacis while you hold them closed. 
You may be surprised at how much 
gunk isdeposited on the paper. In addi- 
tion, check to make sure that the arms 
on which the contacts are mounted are 
not bent or sagging. Sometimes they 
just don't exert enough pressure. 

Tve had some trustratrng times with 
relays. IVe wasted more than a few 
hours trying to get an intermittent relay 
lo work every lime. Especially when 
low signal levels are invoked, such as 
in TX/RX switching, ihe connection 



The Tech Answer Man 



has to be very good, and some ofd re- 
lays just won't do it no matter how hard 
I work on them. If you run into this, try to 
get a new relay; it just isn't worth the 
mtory to try lo fin ii. 

By the way, always check the solder 
joints where the relay connects to Ihe 
board. The heat-sinking effect of the 
large connections sometimes causes 
them to be soldered poorly at the facto- 
ry. They may last for a few years, but 
they will everitually go. Unfortunately, 
the effect exactly mimics intermittenl 
relay contacts » and it can drive you 
nuts. 

Truly Micro 

Among the smartest switches in use 
today are DIP switches, so- named be- 
cause they conform to the Duai Inline 
Package specs for integrated circuits. 
ConseQuentJy, Itiey look like iCs ex- 
cept that there's a row of switches on 
top. Wtth Ihe exception of some ear^y 
CTCSS encoder applications, these 
switches will be found Inside the rig, on 
the board. 

They are intended for set-up para- 
meters, so they ck>n't see lots of switch- 
ing action. Nonetheless, they occa- 
sionally can 90 bad. Some are slide 
switches white some are rockers, 
which are essentiatty toggle switches. 
In any case, these things are sealed, 
and they are just too small to mess 
wtth. 

You can replace the slide type with a 
toggle unit, and vice versa, but always 
check any replacement with an ohm- 
meter, even if it has the same type of 
switches » to be sure the pcnout is the 
same. Some DIPs may be wired quite 
differently and some may even have 
dQubfe-throw contacis. 

Dtts and Deha 

There is one kind of switch we hafm 
are especiaJty familiar with: the Mofse 
code key^ Its constmction is obvious^ 
Used with electronic keyer circuits and 
most solid-state rigs, the contacts han- 
dle only low power and rarefy require 
more than a little cleaner-soaked paper 
pulled through them now and then. 

Tube ngs (even those whose only 
lubes are in the drivef and final stages), 
however, can put far rrK>re stress on 
the contacts, because they may be 
switching as much as lOO voils. If the 
rig won't key properiy, or rt sounds 
lousy on the air, check the key contacts 
before you dig into the circuitry. A 
good, low-resistance contact may be 
essential for proper transmitter opera- 
tion, and even a few tens of ohms can 
cause trouble. 

Louder, Please 

Ah, potentiometers. I often wonder 
whai sadist thought those up! No other 
kir\d o^ control causes as much trouble. 
Basically, a potentiometer (pot) is just a 
resjstor. To make it variable, a wiper ^ 



rubbed across the resistance etofnofit. 
The closer it is to the element's ^n- 
nection, the lower the resistance. 

Actually, pots have three connec^ 
tioos, with one end ol the element t>e- 
ing ground and the other being the sig^ 
na! to be sampled. The wiper samples 
the signal and feeds the next circuit 
stage When the pot is not working 
weiJ. the symptoms can range from the 
obvious, such as a scratching sound in 
the audio, to the perplexing, such as 
an out-of-lock frequency synihesiier, 
depending upon the pot's intended 
function. 

In fact, when you' re faced wfth a dtfff' 
cult problem, it pays to check any pots 
or trimpots (small pots meant to be set 
and forgotten) with a scope to be sure 
they are not open. Don't turn them, 
though! Once you do, you have no way 
to set them back to their original post- 
tiona. 

Where's the Rub? 

There are two basic kinds of pots: 
wire- wound and film. Wire- wounds* 
which have Nmited resolution (because 
the wiper can only make contact once 
per turn of the wire) as well as some 
inductance, are generally used only 
when their superior power-handling 
capabilities are required. The vast ma- 
jority of pots is of the film variety. 

In these unsts, the resistance ele- 
ment IS a carbon-based film which is 
painted on a nonconductive substrate^ 
The wiper, of course, rubs this film. 
Because Ihe wiper rubs the resistance 
element, it is subject to the problem 
shared by other mechanical con nee* 
tions: poor contact. Unless the pot is 
being used in some power- handling sit- 
uation, which is unlikely, the cause of 
the trouble is almost certainly nof a 
burned contact! More likely, the prob- 
lem is simple wearing away of the re- 
sistance element, or dirt or {gasp) 
cigarette residue clogging the works. 

Unless the film is badty worn away, a 
shot of contact cleaner usually will re- 
store the pot lo fine condition. The trick 
is getting the spray into the pot. Most 
larger pots, such as volume and 
squelch controls, have slots near the 
solder contacts into which you can 
spray. 

Aflor spraying, rapicffy twist the poi 
through its control range to disperse 
the cleaner and rub away the dirt. AJ- 
Ihough some smaller pots and trimpots 
can be sprayed, marry are sealed. In 
that case, you are going to have to get s 
new pan. Also, you'll be faced wtth the 
problem of setting it where it belongs. It 
you match the pointer visuaify with the 
old one, you should be close. 

Of course, that won't work in the 
case Of mufti-turn trimpots, which have 
onty a screw exposed. Unforiunalely, 
you can'! read the resistance of Ihe 
wiper connection because that is what 
is not working In the first placel In any 
event, replacement of a trimpot is al- 
ways going to entail readjustment 
Luckily, trimpots rarely fail, because 
they rarely are moved. 

Finally, before you suspect a pot. be 
sure it really is a pot! On some of Ihe 
new ri^. the BIT. IF shift, and olfwf 



controls may be optical encoders, This 
seems to be a trend in Japanese HF 
rigs, and it's a welcome one. The en- 
coders are much more reiiable than 
pots ever could be^ 

Weti» I think that about does it for 
switcfies and controls. So now, let's 
turn our attention to a letter. 

Oear Ka boom , / have a Radm SHack 
HTX-fOO rr^obite rig that i want to use 
as a Oase ng. t don't want to ^$0 a DC 
power suppfy. is ftpossibfe to use a t^Br 
buttery at home, provided i charge it 
when it runs down? t tried to ask 
around, but / don 't know any hams yet 
(I "m stiff studying for my tfcense) and no 
one efse seems to know. 

Signed, 
Homift'ln 

Dear Homin,' Sure, why not? A 
charged car battery will run your 10- 
meter rig just fin 8^ I can't imagine, 
though, why you would not prefer to 
use a power supply — it would be a lot 
easier. If you do use a car battery ^ be 
sure to properiy ground the rig, just as 
you would if you were using a OC sup^ 
ply. ArKJ put a large electrofyiic capaci- 
tor, say. a few thousand microfiarad, in 
parallel with a 0.1 |if cap across the 
battery. 

Of course, watch the electrolytic's 
polarity and be sure to use one raied 
lof at least 25 volts. Also, beware o* 
toxic {and possibly explosive) fumes 
from the battery. These things were 
never meant to be used indoors, and a 
spark, soldering iron, or cigarette 
lighter could set off the hydrogen they 
pfoduce. The acid fumes can be toxic r 
too. 

Finally, car batteries are not deep- 
cycle: they are meant for short start- 
ing periods followed by immediate 
recharge, tf you run yours way down 
between charges, it will not live long. If 
you anticipate such use. get a deep-cy- 
cle marine battery, as it will be da^ 
signed to withstand it. Best of luck and 
you on the band! 



D«ar Kaboom, My Yaesu FT-208R 
seems to have amnesi&. tt works firm, 
but when t shut it off, alf tire memories 
disappeBf. tt's getting to be a pain to 
re-onter att my ioc&t repeaters. 
Where 's my data going? 

Signed, 
For^tfut 

Dear Forgetful, 

To that great databank in the sky, 
that's where J You have a classic case 
of "dead lithium battery^itis/' '206s ara 
old enough now that the batteries are 
finaliy starting to go. It's just a plain- 
Jane J- volt lithium cell, bul il has solder 
terminals on it, so you'd better order 
one from Yaesu, unless you know of a 
local source (I don't). The battery is 
located on the microprocessor board, 
just behind the speaker. You'll have to 
pull the board, so be careful not to 
break the wires going to the keypad. 
And naturally, be sure to get Ihe polari- 
ty fight— macros don't appreciate re- 
versed voltage? 

And see you all ne^l month. 



73 AmatBur Radio Today • August, 1991 Tt 



Homing in 



Number 24 on your feedback card 



Joe Moelf PE KSOV 
POBox250B 
Fuifenon CA 92633 

RDF Fights RFI 

Even if you don't enldy eompetttive 
Iransmilter hunting or search/rescue 
work, you witi probably need lo go DF- 
\ng at some point. Most likely, your 
target wUI be scime sort of non-ham RF 
mterfer©nC«(RFI). 

Over the years* I have searched 
for dozens of noise sources, from 
aquarium heaters to gas oven ther- 
mostats. One of my rnost interesting 
(and frustrating) RFI adventures took 
place about two years ago in Stanton, 
California. 

This slory Is truOi but HI leave out 
actual names, calls, and addresses, 
The victim (*e"il call him W6XY2) 
kjved fag-chewing and daily nelson 75 
meters. One day, a strange signal be- 
gan lo crowd him out. It was a very 
unstable carrier , moving yp and down 
the band and occasionally disappear* 
ing. Most of the time, the signal was 20 
dB over S9 and right on top of his favor- 
ite net frequency near 3900 kHz. By the 
lime I got Involved . W6X YZ's block had 
been checked out by the power and 
cable TV companies, who C0Q\ti not 
find the source of the sigrial in their 
tines. 

Looking Fof Harmonics 

The first rule of HFl-busling is 
to search on the highe9t pracircaf 
frequency. At SO and 40 meters, long 
power lines and other objects re- 
radiate signals ar;d distort RDF mea- 
surements. Null-type antennas are the 
norm. At VHF, gain antennas are 
practical, and long radiators are less 
commofi, 

I set up a general coverage receiver 
and calibrated RF attenuator in 
weXYZ's shack and tuned from 150 
klHz up, makmg a chart ol all RFI earn- 
ers by frequency ar^d relative ampli- 
tude. There were a lot of them, but they 
all sounded different. The strongest 
(20 dO above the 3900 kHz spur) was at 
3400 kH?. 

Harmonics at varying levels (11 to 33 
dB downj were present every 340O kHz 
all the way up to 30 MHz, the top of the 
receiver range, i figured that the 15th 
harmonic at Si ,05 MHz should be 
strong enough to detect. II so, my 6 
meter T-hunt "Shrunken Qyad" (see 
"Homing In" tor January 1990) could 
OF the source. 



CI 

-if- 



V 



SMKLE-TufllN 



a 



J-TUftH 
UOOP 



H 



f 




TO 



Figure i. Scftematicdiagrafn of the 75/ 
80 meter loop for RDF, 



Radio Direction Finding 

A faw days later, my wife April and I 
were back with the van set up for 6 
meter huming. The 51 MHz harmonic 
dropped off rapidly as we drove away 
from WSXYZ's home- All the bearings 
pointed right back to his house. Using 
a Yaesu FT-S90R and its whip, we 
snrHed around the house and found the 
source of the 51 MHz harmonic. It was 
the solar heatmg control unit in 
WeXYZ's own closet! 

Gleefully, we turned off the controller 
and ran to the shack to check the HF 
bands. Sure enough, the noise at 3400 
and its harmonics had stopped, In fact, 
the spectrum was very quiet— all ex- 
cept the signal at 3900 kHz. It was as 
strong as ever. Rats! 

6uitding a Loop 

So. the directk)n finding had to be 
done on 75 meters. We didn't have the 
time Of the motivalion to do anything 
fancy. All we neected was an indication 
of which way to go. A loop antenna was 
the clear choice. 

The receiving loop (L1 In Figure 1) is 
three turns of #1 8 AWG solid enameled 
wire, resonated with a 100 pF air vari- 
able capacitor (CI). Signal snagged by 
this outer loop couples to the coax via 
single-turn inner loop L2, Inductive 
couptmg works much better than direct 
coaM connection to the outer loop. 
wt)ich would upset the balance and 
cause poor nulls. 

Photo A shows the completed anten- 
na on the T-hunt van. The frame +s 
Class 125 (thin wall) PVC pipe, 3/4-inch 
trade size That matches with my stan- 
dard mast system for huming on other 
bands(see^'Homingln'^ for July 1989). 
Note thai the coax bows slightly so it 
does not touch the bottom of 11 . 

To build this loop, cut the top and 
side PVC frame members and assem- 
ble them into a slip-type PVC crossrfit- 
ting Bond them with PVC pipe glue. 
Use a 5/&4-inch drill bit to make individ- 
ual holes through the mast and cross 
pieces for the three large (oop wires. 
Space the turns of the large loop about 
3/16 Inch apart. Holes for the large loop 
wires are 16 inches from the center of 
the cross, and holes tor the inner pick- 
up loop are eight inches out. 

Tuning the antenna is easy — just 
connect it to the receiver and peak the 
background noise on the hunt frequen- 
cy by ad|ustmg CI with an tnsulaied 
tool Keep yourself and any objects 
dear of the loop during tuning. 

Check out your kxjp on a local (g rou nd 
wave) signal before going RFI -hunting. 
The pattern of small (less than 0.06 
wavelength) loops like this has two 
broad peaks (in the plane of the loop) 
and two sharp nulls (looking through 
the loop}. The nulls are easiest to use 
and most accurate for RDF, 

The ambiguous nulls 160 degrees 
apart would cause problems m a long 
distance T-hunt, t>ut not In a neighbof- 
hood RFI search. Just take several 




Photo A. Not fancy, but functionai this Simple loop onaPVCpip^ frame wtH ferret 
out interference sources on 75/80 meters. 



"fixes" from well-spaced locations 
around the area and plot the lines of 
beanng on a map. They should inter- 
sect near the interference source. Fol- 
low the bearing lines and home in- 

(f nece&sary. you can resolve the 
180-degree ambiguity by using the di- 
rectivity of a mobile whip on your vehi- 
cle, Typical 75-meter whip systems 
show higher S-meter readings in the 
direction of the greatest amount of 
ground plane. For example, if your 
whip is on the teh rear bumper, it will 
give a slight amount of enhancement 
to Signals ojming from the right front. 

Be sure to remove your 75-meter 
whip from the car while DFing with the 
loop. The proximity of a resonant whip 
causes inaccurate loop nulls. Similar- 
ly, avoid taking bearings when directly 
under power Nnes, etc, 

If you expect to hunt very strong sig- 
nals and your feceiver does not have a 
wide range RF gain control, connect an 
RF attenuator between the antenna 
and the receiver. Do not transmit into 
the loop or attenuator. Unplug the mike 
and key to prever^t accidents. 

The loop will not give good nulls 
close- in if a lor^g power line or the wir* 
mg of a house radiates the RFI. For 
example, let's say you are 200 feet 
away from the center of a radiating 
overhead power line 400 feet long. The 
difference in azimuth from the left end 
to the right end of the line is 90 degrees. 

When you attempt to null the left 
end, the right end lies in the peak of the 
loop response. No matter which way 
you turn the loop in this case, tfiere will 
be some signal to "fitr* the null In tfie 



pattern. So. when you get too close to 
get good nulls, switch from the loop to a 
whip and move around^ looking for the 
highest S-meier readings. 

Closing In 

A few days later, we went off to 
Stanton lo snoop around with the loop. 
RDF bearings and S-meter readings 
showed the hotlesi area to be about 
two blocks away from WSXYZ in a 
cul-de-sac. The curbside signal was 
strongest in front ol House A, and al- 
most as strong in front of House B. 
Both were ted from one overhead pow- 
er tine in the rear. 

House A's owner was not at home, 
so we rang the betl at House 8. When I 
explained the problem, the family was 
very receptive and let me probe the 
back yard with a Sony ICF-7600 
portable shortwave set. The power 
drop to the house and the breaker box 
were radiating plenty of 75 meter RF. 

We lound no obvious "hot spots'* 
inside or outside i asked if ) could turn 



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00 "^ Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



off IhB House B main breaker for a 
minute. They consented, I flipped the 
breaker, and the noise continued in the 
portaiiJe receiver. 

By now. the owner of House A was 
home, but he was not interested in 
WeXYZ's plight. "Hams cause all the 
TV irMerference problems," be said, 
"so I don't care if J cause a problem for 
aham " 

I told hrm I just wanted to check the 
incoming power line in his back yard. 

"Come back with the Edison Com- 
pany," he replied, and asked us to 
leave. 

When I told W6XYZ atiout our expe- 
rience, he t>egan to despair. He said 
that he was thinking of selling his 
house and taking a long trip in his RV. I 
wasn't ready lo give up yet. 

To be absolutely sure that House A 
was the culprit, I did a 'porch llghl sur- 
vey." reading tiie signal strength of the 
3900 KHz radiation from the front 
porch light wiring of every house in the 
neigh bo rhood on the Sony receiver. 
Sure enough, the ItgJit at House A radi- 
ated 20 dB more signal than any other. 

f tried one more time at the door ot 
House A, this tfme with WSXYZ along. 

Despite our best efforts at diploma- 
cy» the owner would not let us into his 
house or yard p nor would he turn off any 
breakers for tests. 

FCC Gets involved 

I gathered all the RDF and porch 
light data. Then I put together some 
maps of the neighborhood, showing 



how House A was clearly the RFI 
source. I wrote a cover letter to the 
engineer*trM:harge of the Los Angela 
a/ea FCC office, detailing the protiiem. 
I pointed out that the 3900 KHz radia- 
tion from House A was so great as to be 
a Violation of FCC Part 15, that the 
owner was uncooperalrve, and that 
FCC intervefition was r^eeded. 

Less than Iwo weeks after f sent the 
letter and data, the FCC sent a letter by 
certified mail to the owner of House A^ 
telling him that he was m violation of 
Part 15 and had IS days to correct the 
problem. 

Apparently, that really III his fuse. I 
heard that he promptly drove to the 
FCC office and railed against W6XY2 
and me. Fortunately^ the FCC stood 
firm. 

From that point on, my information is 
secondhand. I heard that circuit t>reak* 
er chedcs showed the ORM definitely 
came from House A, ar>d that a bad 
power line grour>d and foose cable TV 
hardware were found and fixed. But 
the 3900 kHz radiation continued. 

Two months laier, I heard that an 
FCC engineer had located tJie RFI 
soiirce in the houset and ordered it to 
be repaired. But by that time, WeXYZ 
had said his house and was moving 
out. 

Apparently . the malfunctioning device 
never got fixed. I drove down W6XYZ's 
ultl street lasl week, and heard an un- 
slahle can-ier on 3900 kHz. ff you like 
75 meters and ere thinking of buying a 
home in Stanton, call me first, 



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73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 01 



Atv 



Number 25 on your FeeiSwcfc can! 



mBrown WBBEIK 
%1Z Magazine 
Forest Rtmd 
Hancock HH 0344$ 

Simulated ATV Satellites 

Students ai Franklin Community High 
Scliool (Franklin. Indiana) have a very ex- 
citing course offering, Each year juniors 
and seniors have the opponunrty to take 
an Aeto&pac^ Technology Class (wis^ I 
had on« of tfi€se wh^n 1 was in school?). 
One particiiiarly fascinating part of the 
course ts the satellite simulalion experi- 
menl They get to design, build and test 
their own satellite, 

This year, they decided to destgn a 
weather observation satellite. Since 
launch oppdrtuntties are hmited. they 
elected to send their satellite to the edge of 
space using a weather balkxin. To study 
cloyd patternSt tftey inGorporated a live TV 
camera and ATV transmitter so they ooutd 
receive live images directly in their class- 
room mission control center In addition, 
tt\ey designed two dltferent radar reflec- 
l<y^ to lest their visibifrty On FAA radar 
screens. 

Using componerits donated by 3ob 
McAuNfle W9PR0 ftom one of his pioneer* 
ing ATV balloon expenments (June 1 985), 
and with guidance from Chuck Crist 
WB9IHS and teacher Doug Craig, the stu- 
dents designed ihe satellite payload tor 
maximum stability. They even perlormed 
wind tunnel tests ai>d ^f^ te^s of the 
parachute recovefy system. A senes of 
classes were held to discuss the tbeory 
behind the system, go over the design 
goals p and then proceed to build the pay- 
load^ 

The payload consisted of a Wyman Re* 
search ATV transmtttefn a Uniden VW-1 TO 
TV camera, a 2m FM transminef with CW 
ID and a 10 meter CW beacon, Callsigns 
orv the payload were: ATV— WB91HS. 
2m-W9PRD. amJ lOm-WeeELK* 



Ham Television 

The components were mounted In a 
hexagonal styrofoam package with a 
swivel mounted on top- This aefodynamic 
design helped maintain a very statile cam- 
era platform for excellent ground imaging. 
One nice touch that I particularly enjoyed 
was the TV camera lens protector— half of 
apairolsungiassas! 

LirtQff 

After thoroyghly testmg their sated ite. 
the dass was ready to fly After a couple of 
weather delays, they were final ty able to 
launch their batloon satellite at l:t5 p.m. 
EST on April 21. The students gathered 
around their ATV receive station and had a 
blast riding along with their balloon as it 
provided them with spectacular aerial 
vtews of their scftooi as il was rapi-dly left 
behind. 

The package disappeared into the 
clouds and nothing could be seen for 
awhiie from the video camera. Soon the 
balloon system was above the clouds and 
they could observe the cioud tops from an 
ever increasing altitude They now had a 
functioning weather satelNte! 

Quite a tew area amateurs pitched in to 
help make this a successful ever^t Ron 
Pogue KOQOB and pilot Ken Jessup actu* 
ally circled over the launchsite in a small 
plane and transmitted the takeoff through 
the Indianapolis ATV repealer. Dozens of 
midweslern hams checked into the track- 
ing net (operated by Emmett K9YKX) with 
direction reports throughout the 2 hour 
flight. Excellent video (although o1 cloud 
lops} was reported ovef a several state 
area. Atthough the 2m beacon died at 
about 1 2,000 feel, it was heard as far away 
as Wisconsin! 

Success! 

The Indianapolis foxhurtt group also 
provided their headmgs as they drove 
along under the payioad The students 
took these beam headings aiid plotted 



ttiem tm a large map of Irdiana Ttrey 
learned a iot aboul direction finding arid 
were quite accurate in locating the pack- 
age during its journey. After reaching 
95,000 feet, their weather sateilite could 
see a large area of Indiana below, At this 
point the balloon burst and the pack^e 
parachuted bactt lo Earth. Their map plots 
were so accurate that thg chase pcane was 
abte to actually see the package as ii 
was parachuting down and watch it 
land in an open field near a small road, 
The package had drifted just over 28 
miles to the southeast to land near the 
towns of Westport and Alert, 

The Indianapolis fox hunters were 
so ctose that they couJd see the cjr- 
clirig plane. Lany Oaks WB9YAJ and 
Paul Bohrer W90UU (two veteran 
balloon trackers) arrived at the scene 
just a lew minutes after it landed. 

The radar reflector eKperimeni was 
successful. They actually flew two 
baltoons. Oi>e of the reflectors (The 
Pizza Mut design—nan^ed for the 
sign Tt was design^ around) 
flew on the majn payload. 
The other reflec- 
tor (a very large 
garbage can de- 
sign) flew on a small, 
very slow^rising bal- 
loon that was launched 
at the same time as the weatfier 
satellite balloon Both reflectors were 
made out of metallized Mylar. Controflers 
at the Indianapolis FAA center success- 
fully tracked both balloons during their 
flights. Although there was no radio bea- 
con on the smail balloon, the control ters 
followed it almost to the Kentucky border, 
Il was later found and returned! 

Photographs from the Edge of Space 

In addition to the live video experin^nt, 
I sent the students a 35mm film camera 
to attacf^ to the side of their satellite. 
Even though the temperatures could 
drop down below -60 degrees, I 
hoped the camera would survive to 
take some realty spectacular high defi- 
nition color pfK3tOS~ 

After browsing through the local 



Phoio 0. 
The "Satetme" 
With piggyback 
35mm film camera. 




photo store (Peterborough 
Camera}. I found the perfect candi* 
date* the Samsung AF-SLIM. This little 
gem is 8 full-featured pocket camera 
with a built-in autowinder and tirr^er 
(30s, GOs or 10m). Another nice feature 
was a lens system that would pop out of 
its lens cover to take a picture and safe- 
ly retract back ir^lo its protective cover 
(ideal for tfie harsh environment in the 
siratosphere!}. 

The ctass programmed tfre camera 
to take a photograph every 1 Q minutes 
durirvg the flight. Since the balloon as- 
cended al about 1 000 feet per minute* 
they snatched a photo every 10,000 
feel. 

The results? Let me pijt it this way: 
When the photoprocessor m Indiana 
handed the photos back to Chuck 





Photo A^ The FrankHn Commumty High School Aerospace Technokigy Omss (with sateifite a/rd radar reflectors ir\ fore- 
ground), 

82 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



Photo C. The auiomattc carr)era takm a 
surprise picture of baiioon tr^ker Paut 
W9DUU shortly after landing. 




Photo D. The Samsung AFSUM pocket camera can take the rigors of the strato- 
spheref 





Photo F. Stratospheric views from 75,000 feet (miMty over 350 mites}. The btoe 
tayer is the Earth 's atmosphere. 



Photo E 45,000 feet over Indiana. 



WB9!HS. he said, "Kow'd you lake 
these pictures? Frt»fti a spacecraft?" 
", . , Weff, as a matter of fact . . . *\ See 
photos E through G for the spectacular 
msuUs. Phoio E was taken at 45,000 feet, 
Photo F at 7S,000 feet and Photo G at the 
top altitude of 35,000 feet. 

The Next Step? 
The Aenospace class plans anoihef ex- 



periment this October. This time they will 
design a comnrunications satellite. At 
least a dozen schools ^ross the midwest 
plan to us€ this baDoon satellite to commu- 
nicate with each other via a cross-band 
FM repeater system, The cross-band re- 
peater Mill be unique in that the audio up* 
link 10 the satellite will be on 2 meters, but 
!he darmUmk w'\\\ be on both the sound 
sybcanier and oiw:an'(er of an ATV trans* 




Photo G, The top attitude of 95.000 feet. The atmosphere is just a thin blue haze 
from this vantage point at the very edge ofspacei 

milter (with live TV camefa). That way, ATV receive setup, they can tune in to the 
even if wie of the schools doesn't have an ATV center carrier on an FH receiver 



I 



73 Amateur Radio Today • August. 1991 83 



L 




Nhimber 26 on your Feedback cBid 



ANDOM OUTPUT 

David CassidyNlGPH 



Cleveland Calling 

She said she lived in the Cleve- 
land area. She called the 73 offices 
to ask a few questionSp offer a few 
suggestions and jusl to chat about 
amateur radio. (You'd be surprised 
at how many calls t get in a week 
from peopfe who just want to talk 
about radio. They hardly ever ask (or 
me by name, but Rose at the switch- 
board puts them through to me when 
she can't figure out who else to for- 
ward the^r calls to.) 

We talked for a while, and I got to 
know a little about her. Her story is 
quite typical: a 1x3callstgn, licensed 
for almost 30 years, inactive for most 
of those 30 years (though always 
renewing the license), recenlly get- 
tirtg back into Ihe radio hobby She 
was stymied by the mcredible 
changes in the last fifteen-or-so 
years. Shirt pocket -sized HTs» HF 
rigs costing a third oi your annual 
saiary that do everything but print 
the QSL card and lick the stamp, 
Novice voice privileges, the WARG 
bands, packet— all brand new to her. 
So many changes. So many things 
to catch up on. 

She told me she had even lost her 
head andt In a fit of high tech eupho- 
ria, actually gone out and bought 
herself a computer. 

She was easy to talk to. As good a 
listener as she was a talker, f found 
the conversation lengthening effort- 
lessly to 10. 15, 20 minutes— sort of 
Hke those nice QSOs you have every 
once in a while when you actually 
feel you've gotten lo know someone 
and maybe even made a new friend . 

**Do you want to Know Ihe biggest 
change r ve noticed?' ' she asked . as 
we got ready to say our goodbyes. "1 
can't beEieve the foul language and 
, ust plain rudeness you hear on the 
oands now. Don't these hams real- 
tre that there are people all over the 
world listening to Ihem? Why isn*t 
the FCC doing something about 
thisr* 

I explained that the FCC simply 
doesn't have the budget, staff or in- 
terest in acting as amateur radio's 
haH monitor. \ told her that since am- 
ateur radio was supposed to be self- 
poiicing, it was up to her and me — 
and all licensed amateurs — lo 
regulate ourselves. 

There was a long silence, and 1 
could feel the mood of the conversa- 
tion turn, not lo anger or sell-righ- 
teous indignation, but to sadness. 
She and I, bath of us licensed since 
ouf early teens, sharing a melan- 
choly recollection o1 how things 
used to be. 

''Do you remember when people 
were courteous to each other on the 
ham bands?** she asked. 

I said yes, 

"Do you remember when people 



84 73 Amateur Radio Today • August, 1991 



actually talked to each other and got 
to know each other, instead of all this 
'you're 5 and 9. thanks for the OSO' 
business?" 

"Yes." 

"Do you remember when ^u nev- 
er EVER heard fouf language or dirty 
jokes on Ihe bands?** 

"Yes, it wasn't alt that long ago.*' 

"So. . .what happened?" 

The pleading in her voice indicat- 
ed that this wasn't a rhetorical ques- 
tion. She really wanted an answer. J 
didn^t have one for her. 

"Couldn't you write something 
about this? You could ask people to 
clean up their acts. Write articles 
about how average hams could help 
clean up the bands/' 

I told her to go back over the tast 
Twelve issues and read Wayne's col- 
umns. He's addressed these issues 
over and over again. 

"Don't you understand the power 
you have?" she asked. ''Don't you 
understand that the ham magazines 
could get together and really help 
make amateur radio tietter by point- 
ing out some of these problems?' ' 

She became more and more insis- 
tant^more and more desperate. 
The conversation continued along 
the same lines for many minutes. 
The more she asked "why/' the 
worse I felt for not being able to give 
her a satisfactory answer, t didn'l 
know what to (ell her« except that at 
least we could set a good example 
for newcomers by our own cqu rte- 
ous practices. She told me she did 
Indeed make a point of scanning the 
Novice portion of 10 meters and an- 
swering those young voices calling 
"CQ/' I thanked her for that, and 
told her to keep ft up. 

The conversation was over. I 
could tell we both hung up with a 
sour feeling in our hearts: Hers for 
not getting the answers she was 
searching for. mine for not being 
able to provide those answers, 

I sat at my desk, stanng at my 
phone and thtnking about wtiat she 
had said. She had totd me I had 
'power/' She had used the old pen 
being mightier than the sword cliche 
and asked me— pleaded with me^ 
to do something to change people's 
attitudes. We had both remembered 
when the ham bands were an island 
of courtesy In a brusque and brash 
world. She had hoped I could tell her 
how to return to this time, I could not, 
\ do not have the "power" she thinks 
I have. Neither does Alan Dorhof* 
fer. . nor Dave Sumner nor 
Wayne Green himseff. 

How can we get people to remem- 
ber that if we do not clean up our own 
messes, pretty soon we will all be 
living in the same garbage pit? 

Do any of you have an answer? 
There's a woman in Cleveland who 
needs to know 




Numtef 27 on your Feedback card 



ROPAGATION 



ALASKA 



WT^^^^t ^^J^ 



jAtPAM 



MEXUCO 



Jim Gray W^IXU 
210 E. Chateau Circle 
PaysonAZ 85541 

Winding Down 

As I wnte (around the end of 
Apnf), we have seen the solar 
flux dive from a 300+ value to 
a 130-1- value \n less than a 
month! Yes, Cycle 22 is on Us 
way down, tn August you can ex- 
pect some good conditions and 
some fair-to-poof conditions as 
we move from summer to 
autumn. See the calendar 
below. 

The poorest days for DX 
on the HF bands will be ap* 
proximately the 5th-8th; 
the 16th-2tst; and the 
24U^27th. Otherwise, you 
may expect decent world- 
wide conditions— unless, 
of course, we get some un- 
expected solar flares in be- 
tween these dates! 

Ofdmarily. the flares oc- 
cur near or on the dates 
given as poor^ so don't be 
too concerned about the 
other days. . .but be aware 
that Old Sol is often unpre- 
dictable. 

Tfie HF bands from 10 
through 20 meters will be 
open on many days until 
well after local dark, and 
during the day you can ex- 
pect everything from short 
skip to long skip. Long path 
DXing can take place in the 
early morning hours just af- 
ter sunrise, and occasbn- 
ally just after dark. 

Use the band-time-coun- 
try chart to plan your oper- 
ating on the HF bands, and 
use the daily forecast to 
pick the best days for your 
efforts. 

I've noticed plenty of 



Jim Gray WIXU 

times that stations will make fu- 
tile calls for DX at times, and 
on days, when there is no hope 
of raising anyone! Perhaps that 
is because these operators are 
totally unaware of the forecasts 
or the reasons behind them. 
Don't try harder— just smarter! 
See you next month, and mear> 
while, for the most up-to-date 
conditions in the ionosphere, lis- 
ten to WWV at 1fi minutes after 
any hour. 



EASTERN UNITED STATES TO: 



QMT: 



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Sim MOW TUE WEO THU FRl SAT 








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ARI99I fkfVRL Itftt Hwidbooli (Stiti td.) n 
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AR2$4S Antenna Compendium Vol 2 41 papers 

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AROMS QRP Moflcboolt J^ Owf IMMiw Wi#B 

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BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS 



OIKS The Begmnef 1 Kindt)O0it o4 Amateuf 
HMJD "ni1 E^tionby(^t ImsierCamkniKi ihcofy 
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AR22S6 F^r«t Stept in Rtdio by Dmg iMMttw 
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10AH(^ • Simple, Low-coit Wire Antennae 
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IOA342 • AiAboytV«fticalAntH««tJ!pmw 
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QIA70 ■ f^ctk:al Antenna Handbook by Ji>itffh 
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PACKET 



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pMi 

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CODE TAPES 

Out a/amitfm\ 



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AR^IHS The $atelllta Exparlmenter'i Hind- 
book, (2nd Ed.) by Martin Davidoff K2UBC 
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AROI77 LOW Band Didng How id meet the ehal- 
ka^ct of 1^ difteioN fixm$ ot 160. W. Aid 40 meter 
^upanaboa widb el^ciTve sacftois. ajmijiiiiaii, aad 
operwing str^cg^. SIO^OO 

AR2030 Your Gate way to Paci(etRadlo(2iid »d.} 
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AR2456 FCC Rule Book (0th ed.) A must for every 
airtive radKiamaieur. S^M 

AR2t03 Saiefltte Anthology Tte lauai icfbrmuEn 
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Enformaiioa m the iise of dif 4ai aaides, uadong hsca- 
m, RLTDAX, abetocaiaipaier. ailnoRf iS.M 

AR2t9t Space Alman*c by AwA^y M. Cu/ih 
£JCf f CqAires ^he tKtjihtiJtjng Tccrau ncwi troin 
space. Includes rnformation on .Amateur Radio satcl^ 
liu». Find almotA every thing abcHil man's Hip lo the 
s[ar!;,%Opp,S20,00 

AR20g3 Complete OX'of (2iid »d.) iiy Bob tjKk*r 
W9KNI Learn bow to hum DX and olxain hard CE^g.ei 
QSLca/^ $12.00 



ia»matfHiirCi>^aDi^^tBimniMtmM'MMmjm^n*ifm Herrw^^ 
<^ahau«pA tf^^ krw gimtm J^hfvr initin ^hu an^4f nrw sJ^^nem <^r. b'f fattirr§mHlf, 

Vff <*< IkirA Bfeak^f and -mu ii br thrrr befbrr ytm ktiit^ if 4 ««vA ihatUdBUi W^Fwrng, J&tf^i tMidr J^mirst ut^^inabty 
^ppfon io eautf irttpenNr, irwmihit, jvmKan^tt/ hmin damaff. iMtir Wa^mr accepts tu* fripOHiiNiIify H^iofrkrr fifT 



73T05 "Gene^is"^ t$M 

S wpm— This is the beginning Uipe. taking you through 
the 2ft kncrs^ tO number) > tnd ncces.sary punctustkin. 
complete with pradke every step of the wa)^ The 
cftK of leanung gives coordefKZ even to ibe fiiM of 
Nesfi 



73TI1 ■B^kBreakar-' UJS 

04 «pB-^cKkegtaqp&a^fn, JiabriiJEll+wpniia 
ytai'll be reidly al erae it^tcn you tit dotni la fmnt ofa 
steely -eyed vdunteer eunnner who starts sending you 
plain Itnguige code m nnU 13 per Ytni'll need thii 
eMii inufgm to Dvenzonie the sJvtre r panic univcmal in 
mofit test situations. YouVe come diis far, jto don't gel 
code shy mw I 



TITOG ^TheStlcktef" S5;»S 

*+ wpm— This 1.1 the practice ta^ for those who jur- 
vived fhe 5 W[Hn tape, and it'^ aJiiO die tape for the 
Nov bee and Technkan l-icensc* It is CAer^jrised of one 
tolidhdtir ofetxie. Oiaradien ut sera ar 13 wpmand 
spaad M 5 vpra. COdc poupi are entirely rmdaoi 
^Ajiatiail icdi ifi gfoapsi of fiv^ — ditfiailcly ooL (wmO' 
ft 



7STW *'C04ffigaeua'* WM 

2i4- If Cai^i i^iiliiTom* Oka^. die dnnetyge of 
c;3odeiftw§uf'agoa^yiallfaiite,K>dcMi'tqiiitTK)w Gp 
Ibrlhc cKin class lictme, We lend die code fajilcr tbut 
20 per, It'M Like wearing lead weigjbtK on your feet when 
you run: Vihi'II wonder why the examiner i^ sending im 
slowly I 



Uncid Wayfie's Bookshelf Order Form 

You may order by mail, lelephone, or fax. AH payments are to be ' 
in US funds. Allow 3 weeks for delivery- | 



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Canada add $4,00 mall, 

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Mail; 73 Magazine, A^^ Uncle Wayne. PO Box 3080, Peterborough, NH 0345B 

UW0951 



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FREE SHIPPING UPS SURFACE (except towers/antennas) 



9500 Cedar Lake Ave., Suite 100 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73114 

Local & Info (405) 478-2866 FAX (405) 478 4202 




CO.D. 




Hours of Operation 
M'F10 6 
Sat W-Z 



144 and 



FT-6200 

440MHz and L2G 

Tnmk-Mountable 
High Power Dual Band 
VHF/ UHF Transceiver 



The Fr-5200 tor FT-6200 ) Dual Baiid 
Mobile Transceiver ii more than just another 
pr^ty (Bce. The front panel can be easily 
removed w ithout toofs or fuss and pui into 
>( vur p^x'ket when you leave your can And 
for extra convenience, an optional remote 
cable kit is available so you can mount the 
control panel anyvi here on the dash and ihe 
transceiver underneath a seat , in the elove 
box orin the trunk. 



Rir extremely powerful communications 
capabilities (50 watts on 3m/35 walls on 
70cm I with maximum convenJence and 
equipment security; face the facts and 
choose Yaesu, 

Feature and Options: 

1 6 tunable memorv chan- 

nels for each band. 



5,10.12.5.15,20, 



25 kHz. 



38 sub'toneji 
selectable from the from panel. 

With independent squelch 
and mixing balance. 

Transmit on one band while listening on 
the other. 



Odd 



Splits ok on any memory channels. 




"lak'iL 
band scanning. 



iJ4.'li, 



-IllIU^. 



. For 



For adduced scan- 



ning time. 

• oLich In^faiH KtfiiiJl: Recall of 
CALL channels lor each band* 



iLi iu 



each band. 

Biiilt-lfi AiilLiHia iJupK Ai 
antenna operation. 



One for 



: For one 



BucklilDTMFdisplayfor 
night operation. 

FRC-4 { Pager Un it h 
DVS^.^ (Voice Memory Unit). YSK-I L 
(6m Trunk Mounting), FTS-22 (CTCSS 
Decoder). SP*? (External Speaker), 

Speciftcations: 

Fr^5200: 2m. 144^ 
I48MH/: 70cm. 430-450MHzand 
FT^6200: 70cm, 430-450MHz; 23cm, 
1240^130DMH^ 

2m, 50/5 Wf high/low); 
70cm, 35/5 Wfhigh/low): 23cm. 10/1 W 
(hish/lowi 



(w/oknob) 



5%xVh%S'yit,'m, 



2 lbs. 3oz- 




(Shown Actual Size) 



Performance without compromise. 



19911'ySitsu USA: 173T0 Fe#ards Road C^ff^los CA Wroi 

^^ Specjfi^ " ^jeirl to change wiihoul TOiice 






The TS-450S. 



Kenwood's goal is to always offer our 
customers the most sophisticated achieve- 
ments in technology. So* when it came 
time to enhance our best selling TS-440S 
transceiver, we didnt hesitate. 

The f€syItingTS-450S and TS-690S 
transceivers offer a combination of versa- 
tility, nexiblllty, sensitivity, and selectivity 
unparalleled in their price range. 

The TS-450S offers competition class 
reception and 100 W transmission capabili- 
ties on all nine Amateur bands in SSB, CW 
FM. and FSK modes, with 40 W on AM, 
TheTS-590S also offers 50 W on sbc meters. 

ForamazinglY clear reception, Advanced 
Intercept Point (AIP)* greatly improves the 
receiver's dynamic range to an incredible 



108 dB, An optional Digital Signal Pro- 
cessor, DSP- 100, offers even further sound 
clarity by tailoring the incoming and out- 
going audio passband signals. 

You'll find the TS-450S and TS-690S 
provide truly outstanding sensitivity over 
the entire band. Innovative triple conver- 
sion" also assures superior stability and 
accuracy, particularly above 24.5 MHz, for 
improved DXing. 

Other refinements include: convenient 
split frequency operation, advanced filter 
functions, optional automatic antenna 
tuner, and 100 memory channels v^rith 
flexible scanning selections. 

Accessories include: PS-33 20, 5A 
power supply. PS-53 22. 5A heavy duty 
power supply, SP-23 external speaker. 
AT-4S0 internal automatic antenna tuner, 



AT-300 external automatic antenna tuner, 
DSP- 100 digital signal processor unit, 
VS-2 voice synthesizer, SO-2 TXCO, 
MB-430 mobile mount. PG-2X DC cable. 
TU-8CTCSS encoder. YG-455C-1 500Hz 
CW filter for 455kHz IE YG-455CN. 1 
250Hz CW narrow filter for 455kH2 IF, 
YK-88S- 1 2 .4kHz SSB filter for 8.83MHz IF" 
YK^88SN^lI8kHzSSB filter for8.83MHzI^ 
YK.88C^1 500Hz CW filter for 8. 83MH2 IF 
YK-88CN-1270H2CWfilterfor8.83MHzIF 
YK-4S5C-1, 500Hz CWfilter for 455kHz IF 

KEMWOOD U.S.A. CORPORATION 

COMMUNICATIONS & TEST EQUIPMENT GROU 
RO. BOX 22745. 2201 E, DominguezStrfidt 
Long Beach, CA 90601 *S745 

KENWOOD ELECTRONICS CANADA INC. 
RO. BOX 1075. 959 Gana Court 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4T4C2 



KENWOOD DIQITAI. aiONAL PROCESSOR 



aap-ioo 



POWER 



FAST 






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ItCHIVFDC 



H fiOtCH-®^ 



POWER 



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Lse 

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ON A If* 



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VO'^CE 



Ken^vooa - • v e^c^eas aUsy ihikns. Ciwraef fitof tfeifsf tor a cor- srrnp of SAfioft: 

9CC9SSOffe ^ _ ,, ^CsfiCnitOfti sr^s-^u^'jto ching^ wMtoul iwfiet ^— -7 ^ete l^ . Lt manuBh am s » ^.-.^ t -t 
Kenwood trsi^scmvers and mo^i3Ccessorses 6m ^^^WBfrsntf jS.A onty 



■'Of 9t! 



KENWOO 

* , . pnccsctter in Anrnti-ur Rtjdio